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Embracing Nostalgia

by Published: Dec 4, 2013

It’s hard not to get nos­tal­gic when you’re in your hometown.

Having spent this past sum­mer in Big Rapids com­plet­ing an intern­ship, it’s been awhile since I’ve been home for a sig­nif­i­cant amount of time. I hon­estly can’t remem­ber being in St. Joe longer than a week­end since last win­ter break.

With that said, I shouldn’t have been sur­prised by the flood of emo­tions that greeted me when I returned home for Thanksgiving break; how­ever, it caught me com­pletely off-guard.

Unlike my usual rushed week­end vis­its, I had time to breathe. I was able to spend some time reflect­ing on every­thing that’s hap­pened in the (almost) four years since I left for college.

While my high school expe­ri­ence was enjoy­able, it was noth­ing spe­cial because I was eager to move onto big­ger and bet­ter things. I remem­ber telling any­one who would lis­ten how I couldn’t wait to get out of St. Joe.

Fast for­ward four years and I’m back in the town I once con­tin­u­ously thought about leav­ing behind. Although my 18-year-old self would never believe me, being in St. Joe was comforting.

Sure, a few things had changed. New restau­rants and shops opened down­town. The high school had an addi­tion built on. My mom even switched out my twin bed for a full.

However, most things were just like I remem­bered. The ice skat­ing rink where I’d spent many Saturday nights opened the day after Thanksgiving. The green grass of the high school foot­ball field peeked out from under­neath the snow. My par­ents left the front porch lights on until I came home.

Although ini­tially sur­prised, I wel­comed the feel­ings of nos­tal­gia. Embracing these feel­ings gave me the oppor­tu­nity to reflect on the per­son I’ve become. In some ways I feel like I haven’t changed at all, and in oth­ers, I feel like I couldn’t be more different.

The expe­ri­ences we’ve had and shared with oth­ers can define the peo­ple we are today. Being in my home­town put my ever-evolving per­son­al­ity into per­spec­tive, which is impor­tant as I pre­pare to toss my cap into the air once again and say good­bye to another home.