I have always believed that you find yourself where you last left yourself - the last place that you felt you were 100%, undoubtedly the most authentic version of you. For me, that was in the mountains of West Virginia, a place I am honored to call my home. As easy as it is to complain about the town you grew up in (it was too small, there was no privacy, it's a toxic black hole, blah blah blah), it's such a refreshing feeling to go back to where your journey began.
Reminiscing can be hilarious, sad, regretful, or strangely all of the above all at once. What I love about West Virginia is that you will absolutely run into people you know somewhere at some point. Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I had stayed, if I had never made that decision to move away and leave my entire childhood and early adolescence behind. But that's not really the point of this post (Note to self: This would make a good blog post).
I find it really ironic that when thrown into the "real world" whether by choice or by fate, the place where you find your center or find yourself is the place you left. I recently went home for 3 days and realized that a long weekend at home is exactly what I needed in the midst of such a transitional stage.
There's something about being around childhood friends, family, your favorite ice cream shop, or hiking a mountain you've probably seen every square inch of that reminds you that you're human. You have a life full of good times, bad times, strange unidentifiable times, but they all combine to put this into perspective: life can begin and start again whenever you want. And to me, summer seems like a pretty good time to find the last time you were genuinely happy and pick up where you left off or start from scratch.
I'm writing this post from home, the place where I realized who I used to be and who I want to be. I have always believed that we are a mosaic of individuals we have met who have impacted our lives. It's up to us to choose what characteristics or attributes we admire in others and how we want to use them to impact our own personal lives. This doesn't completely support the "be yourself" motto that the world seems to push. I am not under any impression that every single person is 100% an individual and they came up with their sense of style, beliefs, phrases, music interests, and every other aspect of their lives by themselves.
It's ok to take pieces of other puzzles to make your own. It's happening anyways, so personally I'd like to acknowledge this and be in control of what I'm getting from other people instead of blindly following a crowd.
I feel lost and confused a lot. That's pretty normal for a recent graduate who moved to a big city and has roughly 4 friends, 3 of which she met a week ago. Going home allowed me to find myself - to identify who I am and who I'm striving to be before i fully dive into to this new season. I'm more confident than ever in myself and I'm ready to begin again with the summer.