Hometowns are memorized winding roads that lead straight to your best friends house, the same roads that will take you away but will always return you back at the end of the day
They are secrets whispered in the school yard while waiting your turn in kickball, running to the water fountain, parched and sweaty, only to find that it no longer works
Places we made and lost friends over the years. Lessons integrating into the soul on who we can trust, who we never could and who will actually be there for the long run
They are the feeling of crisp air against your face as you watch the quarterback score a touchdown on glowing autumn nights. Standing under lights that make the night feel endless, they are places we felt as if youth was infinite
Hometowns are sticky juice running down your mouth as you lick that first sugary sweet popsicle of the summer. Scraped knees and grass stains as you explore the “wild outdoors” of your neighbors backyard. Foot baths at the end of the evening from wearing no shoes
They are that old man ringing the bell for UNICEF at christmas time wearing a fake beard and a jolly smile. Little kids in superhero costumes asking for a couple pennies in addition to Halloween candy to help the less fortunate. Food pantry walks, giving trees and fundraisers – places we learned the importance of giving back
Orange soda that stains the mouth and greasy pizza paired with cake AND ice cream at the cool party spot. Hoping that no one else has bought the same gift as all were purchased at the same tiny toy store. Getting excited when we received a tiny card because those were so cool back in the day.
Burned CDS with our favorite music became our soundtracks. Homework, tests, coffee and friends became our lives. Complaining about that one annoying teacher became a habit and raving about our favorite teacher who let us out 5 mins early on friday became a ritual
They are places we felt those jittery nerves on the last day of high school. Walking in front of everyone to see in heels that were way too high, grabbing that diploma and sharing a nervous smile with the crowd
Places we were told we had the future in our hands. People who whole-heartedly, unconditionally believed in our potential and a couple skeptical classmates. Dreams were born here
They are the place where we swore we would never return. Hours and hours spent of dreaming of a future out of this tiny suburb and the diploma was the final key to the puzzle. Moving out with a million boxes of clothes, fresh dreams, and those sparkly prom shoes tucked into the back of Mom’s SUV
Places we wanted to escape but eventually realize, are impossible to truly leave. Steps lead us back home for our first college break leading to feelings of comfort, belonging and excitement. A realization that this is our special place, one where we can go when we feel lost, to reconnect with those same people who have always been on our side
For hometowns shape us into who we are and give us the ability to become who we want to be.