When someone asks you, “Where is home?”, how do you respond? Most of us quickly spout out the city we live in…McDonough, Roswell, Athens, you name it. Of course, these answers are correct. They are where we physically live—where our homes are.
As this weekend approached, I began thinking about this very simple question. I considered what it means when I tell people that I am going home for the weekend. Obviously, I am going home to McDonough, but I believe that for me, “home” is much more than the physical place where I will to sleep the next two nights.
Home is spending time with my Pawpaw, laughing with my Grandma, going on dates with Kody, and getting to talk to my mom in person. However, when I am back in Athens, home is there too. Home is going to lunch with my friends, doing my homework in my bed, studying with my roommates, and staying up late to talk with them.
In my last post, I wrote about all of the reasons why I have fallen in love with Athens. Every word was true. But in this time of my life, something that I am so grateful for is the fact that I did not have to leave my other home behind. When I left for college, it was not a give and take scenario.
I did not have to give up everything I love about my hometown and my family that is still there in order to have the time of my life in Athens. The beautiful thing is that I am blessed enough to get to have both.
While at UGA, I am able to fully and independently immerse myself in Athens. I get to learn about a city on my own, live on my own, make new friends, and try out new places. Two years have allowed me to begin to do these things, and I feel that I have been fairly successful. I am so fortunate to still have two years left to continue growing. I am confident that a piece of my heart will always reside in Athens.
In the same way, a piece of my heart will always reside in McDonough. I anticipate the weekends when I am able to get away from college for a bit and spend time with my family. It is rejuvenating to be with the people who fight for you the most.
My heart swells when I get to hug and kiss my Pawpaw and Grandma, when they ask me how I am doing in school, and when they say so genuinely that they have missed me. I love when Kody takes me around town on a date. Going to the movies or going to dinner are things we did on our first date, and it is a great way to reminisce.
It is so fun to spend time with my mom. As much as I love talking to her on the phone, which I do nearly every day, it does not beat talking to her over chips and guacamole at the Mexican restaurant. When I head back home to Athens on Sunday night, I feel reenergized after spending a weekend home in McDonough.
One day, I will pack up completely from both of these cities, and I will plant my new physical home somewhere else where brand new memories will be made. But, it is reassuring to know that as this happens, as we all move homes during the span of our lives, our true home is so much bigger than the address on our driver’s license.