It’s currently 5:43 am and I’m sitting in the San Jose airport waiting for my flight back to LMU. I just spent almost a week in my hometown of Cupertino, California, a small city also known as the home of Apple. My first time home for a break brought many mixed emotions, as home by definition is “A place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household”. Cupertino has been a place I’ve made memories since I was a little girl, but when I moved down to Los Angeles, it was no longer “a place where one lives permanently”.

If I were to sum up my past week in a single word, it would be “weird”. Strange, unusual, odd. At this point in the semester I began to reference LMU as my home. Every time my friends and I went out, “home” meant out dorm rooms. It became something I didn’t even consciously realize I was saying, because at the end of the day the comfort of my dorm bed was all I wanted. I developed a family at school because I looked forward to seeing them every evening, just like I did in Cupertino. But when someone would ask me where I was from or where my home was, Cupertino was always the answer. The place I came from, the place I grew up, the place with my family, the people I missed the most.

That was when I realized that my childhood home was no longer home, and college wasn’t technically home. I was homeless.

Visiting my hometown felt like memories I made before college were in a different life. My previous life seemed so slow paced to me, as I was accustomed to the rapidness of college. It’s strange how I used to be so content with such a slow lifestyle. In some ways I feel like I can’t relate to a lot of experiences that seemed normal to me just three months ago. My family already established lives and routines on their own, that I felt like a stranger in what was supposed to be my own city. Meeting up with high school friends was a bittersweet feeling; catching each other up on our new lives, but realizing that we’d always be in a constant state of “catch up”. We no longer share experiences together like we did in high school.

I’d listen to the radio while driving, and those songs reminded me of the memories I’d made with my friends at LMU. Text conversations about how much we missed each other put me in a confused state. Is there a place where I’d be truly whole?

This week was filled with a time to catch up with my loving family and eat some amazing home cooked meal, something I longed for during stressful times at school. But it was also a realization that whether I am in Cupertino or LA, I’ll always be missing the other, and that’s a reality I’ll just have to accept.

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