I quickly cut my steering wheel to the right and smoothly pulled up the semi steep, black driveway that led to my little college house. My foot pressed down tightly on the brake pedal as I pushed the gear into park; an action I have done over and over since living here. I felt my blue Toyota Rav 4 jolt to a stop as I sat back in my seat admiring the small, cottage, college house.
In front of me a singular, white garage door kissed my car ever so slightly. To the left of the garage, a small white deck protruded slightly out a few feet with bright red bricks lining the awkward spaces. On the white siding next to the garage door, the number 112 rested slightly in a fancy font. Above the small deck, large, spacious windows lined the front of the house. Oh, how many times I have looked out those windows into the world outside this small little house, I thought to myself.
I clicked the small red button that hooked the seat belt into place and opened my car door. Stepping out of my car I took a long, deep breath, filling my lungs with air, and with an exhale I slammed the car door shut. I have stepped out of my car and walked up to the bright red door of this house so many times before. This time is different though because this time is the last.
This is it, I thought to myself, my final goodbye to my college days.
I confidently walked up to the red door and stuck my small, silver key into the key hole. With a swift turn of the golden knob I pushed the door open and walked through the doorway.
It is so empty…I thought to myself.
This once busy house filled with the chatter and hustle of my roommates remained empty, still and quiet. With all the furniture gone, and my roommates officially moved out, this house is nothing but a foundation of walls, floors, and rooms ready to house the next group of individuals.
Leaving a place and moving on is never an easy thing to do.
Whether it is moving to a new city or town, changing job locations, or graduating from college and moving back home; change is never easy.
But change is necessary for our growth as individuals.
If there is anything that I learned in the last six years of college it’s the fact that we are all humans-flawed, and imperfect-living out life to tell our own individual stories through our experiences. We as individuals choose to write our own stories, chapters, and endings.
East Stroudsburg is not just a small little town that houses a “mediocre” sized college. To many, East Stroudsburg is home. I call this place my home because of all the memories and people who reside in it. Without the people, my small little cottage college house would just be a house built on a firm foundation on a certain street, in a certain city. What makes a particular house or place a home is the people. It’s the late nights that my roommates and I stay up and talk about life and all that it has to offer. This place is a home because of the nights we all laughed and cried about the mess our lives hold and the places we will eventually go. It is the late drunk nights where we were all silly messes wondering home from main street speaking in a jumbled language that only we could understand.
This place is a home because of the pre-game pep talks our coaches gave us before important games. It’s the stadium being filled with fans painted with our numbers on their chests as my teammates and I ran up and down the field. It’s the cheers, the laughs, the games played, the sweat dripped, the tears cried.
It is friendship.
It is figuring out who you are and who you are not.
It is a place.
It is the people.
It is the memories.
But most importantly it is a home.
Sometimes certain situations or circumstances like moving on from a place we considered home for so long forces us to take a deeper look at our inner selves. We reevaluate and realign how we view our past, our present and our future. We ask ourselves, what do I want for my life and how do I want to live? It is through these trivial circumstances and major life changes where we transform, transcend and even transcribe into the person we are meant to become. We transform the soul into a new masterpiece by stretching beyond familiarity or comfort. We transcend past our old ways of thinking and acting by living unashamed in our present while working hard and moving towards our goals. Finally, we transcribe a theoretical mark or imprint that can be left on the places and people we leave behind.
So, readers, regardless of where you are at in life we all must leave something behind in order to grow and mature into who we are meant to become. Maybe that “something” could be old habits or ways of thinking that hold you back from the person you could potentially be. Maybe you are moving on to a new job, leaving behind new friends, or you are like me, forced to grow up and face the real world.
Wherever you are at, the real world is calling.
You see, the real world to me is a theoretical place I like to call unfamiliarity. It is a place that calls us out of where we feel comfortable, secure, and at home with ourselves.
East Stroudsburg is my home. There will always be a part of me residing in that place, but the real world is calling. I must move on from this place, gather my things, and move back to my parent’s home to start a life that was truly made for me. It may be scary, and heck living with my parents sounds god awful (sorry mom and dad nothing against you I just really like my freedom), but I must transition from this part of my life, leave behind this home, to create a new one.
Home can be a place, and it can be the people.
But home can also be the memories that come with the people and the places. Home resides in the memories and the person we are at specific moments in time; glimpses of who we were and who we became with certain people in certain places.
When we think of moving on in this essence it takes on a whole new meaning. Physically we let go of certain people, places, and things in our life, but home is the memories we make. The person we are. The person we become.
Home is evolving and constantly moving.
So, moving on should be quite simple. Let yourself go. Move on from each place, each person, because you can always revisit home in your memories. Home will be closer than you think.
But for now, the real world is calling.
Will you answer?