Walking around the streets of this town, I feel a single tear fall down my skin when a feeling of belonging and comfort fills my heart. Sitting in a coffee shop, admiring those who stroll by, I see a mix of both familiar and unfamiliar faces. In this very moment, I find myself smiling at the oneness that I call home. The harmony of the cars driving on Main Street, the indistinct chatter from behind me as I sip my coffee, and the breaths echoing in my chest as I find myself happy in the present time fulfill all my needs at the moment.
In the present moment, my eyes take a second to adjust to my surroundings; the place I have called home for eighteen years will soon be a place of the past. Yet, as I go off to college, the feeling of being grounded will always remain here in this town. As I experience this sense of being at home along with the feeling of being connected with myself and those from my past, I find myself content and happy, and quite appreciative of this place.
Photo: Jonas Allert on Unsplash
It’s a place with a kaleidoscope of memories — not always linear, but always important. Within those memories, two emotions remain strong and prominent.
There is the heartbreak of saying goodbye to those who made this town home. This transition came along with a multitude of heartbreaks: my childhood friends moving all the way to South Carolina, my best friend telling me that she would soon be spending her time miles away from me at college, and getting my first rejection letter from one of the colleges I applied to. This feeling is overwhelming and astounding because it steals my breath away as I look back upon it.
However, amidst the heartbreak, there is the feeling of genuine joy and happiness. In this town, there are the big moments: the day I received my first college acceptance letter, and the feeling of walking across the stage at my High School graduation. More importantly, the most important moments are the quiet ones: the hours I spent laughing until my ribs ached, the summer sunsets that I would watch at nearby lakes, and the moments I would spend with those I love and care about.
Those people made this place my home.
Michaela Kowalski is an eighteen-year-old, college freshman at a university in New Hampshire. She’s studying marketing and minoring in public relations and enjoys writing and journalism. She's also passionate about traveling, dogs, marathons of Netflix and spontaneous adventures. Regarding the future, she hopes to give back to countries in need.