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June 12, 2012

Home

This past Friday, as I drove into Clemson to meet Susan for her bridal portraits, this overwhelming sense of “coming home” invaded me.  I pulled off of Hwy 123 and onto 93 like I’ve always done… in fact, since moving in my freshman year, I must have pulled into Clemson from that direction at least 1,000 times if not more.  And most times it feels just like it did on Friday… like I was headed home.

I remember the first couple of weeks of college and it feeling like I was at summer camp.  It was SO strange and surreal that I was there.  But ever so slowly, as I got used to the campus, met new friends, and settled into my college routine, my mindset began to change.  By the time I went home for Christmas break freshman year, I remember having the desire to go back to Clemson being stronger than my desire to stay at home.  Not because I didn’t love being at home!!  But, because I was growing up and building my own life.

I’m not exactly sure when it happened, when Clemson became “home” to me, but after spending five and a half years there as a student (minus three semesters to co-op at Delta!), by that last year that I was living in an apartment off campus, it was definitely home.  And then it was time to leave… and move across the Atlantic.  When I graduated, life turned upside down.  Two days after graduation, my roommate got married.  A week after that, I moved all of my stuff to my mom’s in Spartanburg.  A few days after that, I packed up a couple of suitcases and flew over to Belgium.  But I slowly began to notice some of what had happened in Clemson happening to me in Belgium… it was becoming “home” even more quickly than Clemson had.  But then, before I knew it, five months had passed and it was time to go home… back to the states.

It’s just funny how when I look back, I’ve had so many homes.  But it took me a while to realize that “home” is where I make it.  It’s where I feel safe, loved, relaxed, welcomed, and am able to rejuvenate.  Clemson was where I really began to grow into the woman God intended for me to be.  Even though I lived in 7 different dorms/apartments while I was attending school there, the town and the campus became home because of all the things I mentioned above, but also because of all of the changes that happened while I was there.  I left childhood behind and became an adult (heavens… I was 24 when I finally graduated!).  I grew leaps and bounds in my faith as I grew to know God more and more.  I started down one path that I thought I was supposed to be on, only to figure out four years into it that I was headed in the wrong direction!  A lot happened during those five and a half years so it’s no wonder Clemson still has that feeling of “home”.  :-)

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