Growing Pains

Alex Dapp

This past weekend I decided to make a trip back to my hometown, Springfield, Mo., to visit a friend for his birthday. Upon entering the city limits, I realized why my visits back to my hometown have dwindled over the past four years of my college experience.

When I moved away for school, I did so because I wanted a change. I wanted to meet new people, I wanted to experience a new city and hopefully grow as a person. While I feel I have accomplished these things during my time here in Kansas City, visiting Springfield reaffirmed my beliefs.

During my short visit, I somehow managed to see practically my entire graduating class, along with many other high school friends, over the course of an evening. For some, this might be an enjoyable and exciting event, but for me, not so much. Yes, I enjoyed catching up with a few of my classmates. I also couldn’t help but be thankful I wasn’t still living in the same city as them.

Maybe my change in perspective is due to a literal change in location, or simply due to the passage of time, but I think that I have finally come to understand the saying “you can’t go home again.” While you might be physically returning to your former home, that doesn’t mean you feel at home once you return. While I found myself surrounded by those who I grew up with, I couldn’t help but feel as if we had grown apart.

Life is about changing, adapting and growing and sometimes those acts cause us to see something differently than we had once before. I will always love my hometown and I will be forever grateful for the lasting relationships I built during the 18 years I lived there. I will not, I’m afraid, ever feel as if I am going home again when I decide to make my next visit.