I’d always heard the phrase, “You can’t go home once you’ve left.” I’ve always laughed it off. Of course, you can go home again; Home is home. Home will always be home. Home can change location. Home will always be where your heart lies. Or at least, this is what I thought.
In recent days, I have realized the severity of that statement. You really can’t go home once you’ve left. Home just isn’t home when you’re gone. While you are away, home changes. While you’re away, you change. Both you and home change so much that you can no longer fully be a part of one another. I’ve recently reached this point in my life.
Growing up, I was a home-grown Appalachian. I spoke fluent Appalachian English as well as what I called “school English.” I was down and set in my ways. I loved being outside and not wearing shoes once summer hit. I loved riding my horse through the fields. I loved working in the garden and preserving the food to eat all year round. I loved it all, and it was such a huge part of me. Three years ago, I left for college; moreover, I left for a liberal arts college. This college was different from anything that I had ever grew up with. I loved it too. I loved having in depth conversations about the world’s social justice issues and what caused them. I loved using big words like ‘condensing’, ‘inductive’, or even ‘pervasive’. However, in order to function in this new society, I had to leave Appalachia behind. No more being outside constantly-I was always stuck in a classroom. No more riding at my own free will. No more Appalachian English because no one at college seemed to know what the heck any thing I said meant. When I went home, I had to leave behind the person that Berea was creating me to be. I left behind the conversations about social issues. I left behind the using big words because no one seemed to know what the heck anything I said meant. I love both worlds, but I am at home in neither. I am leaving something crucial part of me behind in both instances.
I am homesick. I am homesick for a home in which I can be both. I can be college educated and still Appalachian. I am homesick for a place where I am accepted for being both people and not looked down upon because I appear to know too much or know too little. Why am I blogging this? I honestly don’t know. I think I am hoping that someone will see this and someone will understand. I don’t know. I just want to go home to a home that doesn’t exist.