‘I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.’ {Maya Angelou}

I guess you could say my sense of home is a little warped. People ask me where I’m from all the time and I just sort of look at them unable to come up with a good answer. I was born in Oklahoma, yes, but I haven’t said I’m from Oklahoma since I actually lived there. Then we moved to Texas where I spent those lovely teenage years known as high school. I bid adieu to the south and moved to Columbia, the college/wannabe-hippie town of the midwest.

By the time my 4 years of undergrad were up, I truly considered Columbia my home. It was mine and only mine. It was the place I came back to when everything else in my life was crazy. It was where I did so much learning and growing as a person and where I built so many memories with people I hope remain my friends for years to come. I could walk down the street or stop in the local hangout or coffee shop and inevitably see someone I knew. The whole town sort of felt like the bar in Cheers.

When I left my apartment in Columbia at 3am to get to the airport and fly to Korea, I said goodbye to the town I’d grown to love over the past 4 years. I knew I would come back, but it would be different. As we drove east on I-70, I watched as a chapter in my life, literally, closed before my eyes. Weird.

After an unbelievable 4 weeks in Korea, I came back to Texas. Also weird. Going back to Fort Worth feels like a bit of a time warp for me. It has little connection to my everyday life now, I go back and feel exactly the way I felt in high school. I realize I’m the one who’s changed and I can’t expect things to change along with me. Not really having a home there probably makes it feel stranger.

I did have a lot of fun catching up with a few people I’ve kept up with from high school. The wedding and all the shenanigans that come along with it were also great. I haven’t spent more than a few days at a time in Texas in at least 2 years, so it was good to have time to reconnect with a part of my past. I even experienced some culture shock or maybe reverse culture shock? I lived in the state for 5 years so you’d think the HUGE trucks, southern accent, and huge EVERYTHING wouldn’t phase me. It did, I noticed. I was even told I have a northern accent by my friend’s dad. I guess ‘yeaah’ instead of ‘y’all’ makes for a northerner.

Hanging out with Ann in College Station was a blast, we didn’t even kill each other! We made it to the first A&M home game against SMU. Faurot Field is tiny compared to Kyle Field; we were there with 87,000 other people. I even did the whole Midnight Yell the night before the game and learned some crazy cheers and chants for the game.

I ate enough fried chicken to hopefully last me a while. My last night there we ate at the Dixie Chicken, a College Station favorite. Other eating establishments of note were Hullabaloo’s Diner (I had the chicken fried steak sandwich…BOMB.com), Antonio’s Pizza, Fuego’s (delish tacos), and Chicken Oil. Oh, and in Fort Worth I got my fix of Rosa’s Cafe, Chicken Express, In-N-Out Burger, and even Prima’s, the neighborhood mom and pop Italian restaurant.

I still love things about Fort Worth and Texas in general. Its a unique little culture in the U.S. that you only really appreciate once you’ve been away for awhile. I have a lot of memories there and special people who I hope to stay in touch with. While I feel like part of me will always be a Texan, its not where my heart is and I’m ok with that.

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