Monday, November 11, 2013

Day 10: Self Renewal, Coming Home

I feel like most people will go through times in their lives where they feel they are in a rut, or can't get things to work.  Professionals in "calming down" will always say you need to find an outlet or an escape.  Well, what is a college student to do when they're struggling through the week?  I recommend seriously that you find something that makes you happy (but isn't going to get you arrested) and try to find some time to work this into your schedule. 

I have had weeks where I had to muddle through classes, tests, and the "struggle" of life away from family and my best friends that have been with me for the last decade and a half of my life.  This weekend in Kansas City was a chance for me to, "refresh, recharge, and restart."  What do I mean by this?  Well, being surrounded by people with similar passion to me, and in an environment where energy was higher than the national debt.  This type of situation works for some people. 

My solution for putting everything back in line often happens when I go home.  Something about Dubois County makes me a happy person in general!  I never realized as a child what my community meant to me until I left.  This is why I find it interesting that everyone grows up with the stigma of, "I'm leaving this Podunk town and never coming back!  Mark my words!"  But in reality, who comes back?  Many of them.  Why do we do this is a better question.  If you haven't noticed, I live life asking questions.  I feel it is important to question nearly everything.  Don't let questioning ruin life (it can happen to some), but use it as an educational tool. 

We return home for many reasons, I believe.  You may move to Nashville, New York, Indianapolis, Chicago, or somewhere else after college, and as a young person, sure it's nice.  It is the point when individuals look at settling down and raising a family that they truly look at what your parents offered you growing up.  I will personally say that small-town living made me who I am.  Here in Lafayette, I go to a restaurant, gas station, or store and most of the time do not know anyone.  At home, I stop nearly everywhere I go because I have run into someone I know.  On any given day it may be a teacher, family friend, the mayor, my priest, or any other variety of people.  In a smaller community there is a smaller network of people and therefore your network overlaps that of many others, making you closer to nearly everyone. 

I'll proudly say that I want to let my children grow up in a community that is close, just like I could.  When I walk into church, I know a large percentage of the people in the service.  I go to the grocery and know 3/4 of the people working.  My mayor and I are on a first name basis.  Things like this do not just "happen" in large cities.  I love the song, "Everybody Dies Famous in a Small Town."  I think it may be a Miranda Lambert song?  It describes life so well.  This is how I felt when I sat at ISSMA State Marching Band Finals in Lucas Oil Stadium two weeks ago.  DeKalb High School did a show called "We Are DeKalb."  The music and show was built around the idea that, small towns are a different world.  We can be close, connected, and united.  Unity is important, and I feel it is vital in maintaining a high level of morals and proper behavior in today's young people. 

If you're ever feeling down, take a trip back home.  This works wonders for me!  I wish I could attach a photo, but I have never stopped to take a one.  There is a sign on the north side of my hometown that says, "Welcome to Jasper, if you lived here, you'd be home now!"  Passing that sign and coming up on Home Depot and Applebee's is where I get that feeling deep down of, "I'm home.  It's alright." 

To sway any concerns, I'm doing fine, and I just wanted to do a short piece on self renewal and coming home.  It is something unique to every individual, but something shared all the same. 

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