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Returning Home.

I love my family. I love being home. If you knew me as a child, you know that I HATED being away from my parents. I always packed my bags to have sleepovers at another family member’s home, but when it was time to go to sleep, I would always ask to call my mom and dad and they would come and pick me up. Each and every time. If you were to ask anyone who knew me in my childhood if they thought I would move away from home, I am pretty sure unanimously everyone would say absolutely not.

But here we are. I left home at 18 to go to college and I haven’t looked back since. I lived in Illinois for 4 years and spent all of my summers in different cities. I currently live in Georgia and I have been here for 3 years. I do return home for the holidays and my family will also come here to visit. As of right now I don’t have plans to move back to Michigan any time soon. I’m not opposed to it, but I just know in the season I am in, that’s not where I am supposed to be.

Even though I love being around my family, returning home has brought up a lot for me over the years. First, there was a sense of feeling left out since I moved away from home. Most of the people who still live there still have the same friend groups they had in high school. There are a select few people I still talk to, but it’s not the big circles I would see on social media. (Comparison is the thief of joy! Had to nip this in the bud real quick!) I would also beat myself up over missing out on the lives of my little cousins as they are growing up. I felt as if I was missing all of the milestones. (My mom told me once “Kieara we really only gather for holidays and you are there for those so you’re not really missing anything!”) I also felt bad because I could only stay for limited periods of time because I had to get back to other obligations or I just wanted to get back to my personal space in my apartment. I have grown to like my personal space and returning home does not offer that same convenience. There were also random thoughts that maybe life would be better in Michigan even though deep down I knew I didn’t want to move back yet. It wasn’t until my last visit home in July of 2020 that I really reflected over ALL of these concerns and made peace with myself and home in Michigan.

Home in Michigan is such a huge contrast from home in Georgia, or even Illinois. I realized that Michigan is my safe place. It’s where things were pretty calculated for me. People who knew one version of Kieara and that is it. I was the smart girl. I was the girl who followed the rules. I was the girl who everyone knew would make it in the world. None of these things are bad things, but they definitely put me in a box.

Life in Georgia has been full of ups and downs. I don’t have the same support system that I have in Michigan. I don’t have the reputation that I had in Michigan and I’ve had to charter my own waters here. There have definitely been times when I would think “Maybe this means I should go back home.”

But I’ve realized, when I am thinking of returning home, what I am really craving is security. I am craving the feeling of being in control and knowing what’s next. What life has taught me though is life is not best lived in the safe and easy. Life has been best to me in the wilderness even though I may complain about the circumstances and ask why. The other issue is that my nostalgia was not healthy. I was romanticizing my experiences instead of just appreciating them for what they were at the moment. And while I am learning to appreciate instead of romanticize, I am also opening myself up to the reality that my present and my future also hold so many new memories that will also brighten my life.

And though I have questioned where I am supposed to be, there have definitely been moments that have confirmed my belief that Georgia is right where I am supposed to be! I am truly grateful!

I do get to return home this weekend for a few days since we have fall break! I am very excited. I need to relax and recharge. I have already made all of the reservations to my favorite restaurants and I have alerted my people that I will be in town. Most of all I am excited to visit the cider mill for cider and doughnuts that are unmatched!

If you live out of town, what’s your number one thing to do when you return home? Let me know in the chat!


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