Back Home Again in Indiana
It’s strange being here… There was a reason I left this town and now I realize it’s because I was suffocating. I ached for something new, a change of pace, a way to start over. Now that I’m back here, I feel like I’m suffocating again. Not just because of my mother’s cigarette smoke (which doesn’t help), it’s the expectation here. The Chicago ‘burbs aren’t exactly a haven, what with the traffic and all the people and the high taxes and the gas prices… but compared to here? To me, Indiana will always be home, but it will also always remind me of people from high school, ignorance, intolerance, and “those people who will never leave this town.”
I’ve become “one of those people who gets the hell out of this town.” This place puts you in a box. You’re expected to go to the satellite campus of the state school, you graduate in 5-6 years, you have a few kids, you have your stereotypical and hypocritical white wedding, your relationship becomes a facebook legacy, you divorce… and then you stay here. Why the hell would you stay here? (Okay, my very best friend went that route, but she’s doing it in Texas, not in Indiana, and her marriage is probably the happiest I’ve ever seen, so it totally works for some people. But it’s because she’s insanely intelligent and driven.)
I digress. Do I have a fondness of my hometown? Of course. I have good memories of skipping algebra to go out for pancakes at the cheapy pancake restaurant with my best friend and Thursday night cast parties at Steak and Shake and giving love notes to strangers in the artsy fartsy café. I have good memories of college here, meeting my beau, cultivating lasting friendships, earning an education well worth the six digits I paid. I have good memories of house parties and beer pong and cab rides and girls’ nights. I have good memories of camp counseling and computer fixing and interning and ice cream scooping.
I got my start here. Of course I’m grateful.
But I’m oh so grateful to move on.
(And I’m already counting down the hours until I’m back home in Illinois.)