I grew up in a pretty small, sleepy town. I often joked there were more cows than people and I couldn’t wait to leave. I’d walk to the local shopping plaza to buy fried chicken, corn bread, and peach rings. I stayed out late with friends roaming around town. I spent my free time taking dance classes, getting tattoos, and working at the local Burger King. Again, I couldn’t wait to leave.
In 2005 I moved to Pittsburgh to attend the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. I was so excited to be moving into my very own apartment with one of my high school besties. I was sure it had to be better than home, it was new, fresh, and I was free. Well, I cried every night for months. The people weren’t as nice, the traffic was overwhelming, the stars don’t shine as bright, my family wasn’t there, and my friends were no longer right next door. I ventured home every single weekend that I was in college.
Over the past 10 years I grew to love this city. I met some of my very best friends, had my heart broken, fell in love, graduated college, got my first big girl job, got engaged, bought a house, and got married. I love the fact that I can go out and not know every single person that passes by, I can dance like a fool and know that no one is paying any attention, meet new people, discover new music, eat all the sushi, and experience different cultures. However, as I grow older, nothing feels better than driving down those country roads that lead to home.
If you asked my 18-year-old self if I would ever miss home, I would have said no (but I also thought that fishnet shirts were the coolest). The truth is that in some ways I do. I won’t ever move back there, but I miss having a big open yard, friendly neighbors, and my family close by. I was convinced that where I grew up was the worst, but home is wherever your friends and family are.
This outfit reminds me of home, simply put. And now I really want some peach rings.