May of 2010 I turned 18, graduated from Myrtle Attendance Center (it’s when K-12 is on the same grounds), and started to count down the days till I could finally leave Myrtle (and New Albany to boot). Fast forward to August and what little belongings I couldn’t live without were moved into the RC South at The University of Mississippi. It wasn’t far from home (about 36 miles) but hey, Oxford at least had a Kroger.
Five years I spent in Oxford. I traveled to Peru, Seattle, and pretty much every SEC football stadium to cheer on my Rebels. I must confess, I could/should have graduated after 3.5 years, but I couldn’t give up my *self-proclaimed* kingdom. I had a friend who tried to get me to study abroad with her, but sadly I made yet another mistake and decided not to. While Ole Miss was fun, the memories are endless, and the people were amazing, my time was filled with mistakes, miss opportunities, and a grocery list of people I pissed off. You live and you learn and it has taken me several years to finally understand that I can only be sorry for so long and have to move forward.
Flash forward to 2015 and I have graduated with honors, 3 majors, and a shit ton of student debt, but I’ll be damned if I was going to stop. On July 3rd I drove 10 hours North to Iowa. Attending a top ranked masters program, essentially a full ride, and a new town was what I needed. However, I quickly found out that being a RA for 4 years and the lessons I thought I learned were not enough. I traveled to 12 new states, had some of the best food the Midwest has to offer, and somehow found a hand full of people who took a chance on me. While my time in Iowa was not perfect and filled with more lonely nights than the first semester of my freshman year at Ole Miss, I was able to check another thing off my list: getting a master’s degree.
Now May came and went and I was fortunate enough to get a job. In July I will drive some 1300 miles Northeast to Connecticut to join what I feel like will be an amazing team of professionals. In almost 10 years of getting on my first flight ever (to LA for a FBLA competition), I have visited half the states, been to a couple of countries, and have plans for some more trips. I have found that I have sadly lost a few good friends along this journey. While I travel alone, the few that stay are the ones that get me through it all. Yet strangely something is wrong.
All I have ever wanted to do was travel. I could careless about the Instagram filters, the catchy hashtags, and the total number of likes. I find solace with being alone in a new place, but no matter where I go, I never get as excited as when I cross the Mississippi River. There isn’t much in this little old town. New Albany is growing but let’s be honest, it doesn’t have much. And Oxford, well its full of memories and demons I’m just trying to outrun. But no matter where I go, how much I learn, or the people who come and go, there is no place that feels like home. Unless you count a margarita on a lonely beach, I’ll probably take that instead of home if its July in Mississippi.
Heres to another adventure, another city, another place that I’ll go wishing it was home.