Well I am finally back on campus after being home for a few weeks. While it was nice to be home and to see my friends and family I came to a shocking realization; going home was hard. I don’t know if it is like that for everyone, but it was for me. I looked forward to going home all semester because I needed a break from everything that had been going on around me and I thought being home would offer me a certain level of comfort. To a point I was right, it was comforting to be surrounded by my family and familiar sights…for the first few days at least. After the initial joy and excitement of me being home, everyone went back to their lives and that left me in limbo. I didn’t have work to keep me occupied, no school work that needed to be completed, and all of my friends were still in school stressing over their first-year finals. I had nowhere to be and nothing to do, with all the time I could possibly want.
To add to the mix, I no longer had a role in the house. Before I left for school I was the one who would take my brother to school in the mornings, I made dinner, did the grocery shopping and a million other minute tasks that I never thought of, but now all of those tasks have been taken over by my siblings or my mom since they’re the ones who still live there. It is an upsetting feeling to know that you no longer have a place or purpose in a space that you once felt so comfortable in. I would love to be able to say that I got used to it and found my place, but the truth is that I never did. I was home for three weeks and the entire time I felt like I was just floating back and forth, trying to avoid getting in anybody’s way.
I found things to keep me busy most days. I contacted my Chef from the tech school I attended during high school and she let me work in the kitchen for a few days, which gave me an outlet to expel some of my pent up energy. While in the kitchen I played around with a few of my own recipes and tweaked them a little here and there until I was satisfied with the results. I found out how to create bi-colored croissants and LOVED the results! A few problems occurred while working with the croissants so I decided that next time I need to lower the oven temperature, make the triangles longer so the spiral inside is more pronounced and do a lighter layer of egg wash. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to work in a kitchen for pure amusement and not because it was a class or for work. It helped to revitalize my love for being in a kitchen, getting to create new items and learn from my mistakes instead of learning from a PowerPoint. Eventually my time in the kitchen came to an end and I was back to searching for something to do once again.
I didn’t have to search too hard because I quickly found that hiking was a great way to spend most of my days. If I didn’t go hiking I spent a few hours at the beach reading, writing or doodling. Frequently when I went to the beach my brother joined me and it was nice to spend some time with him again. On those days when the weather did not cooperate with my desire to be outside, I spent the days with my grandma while everyone else was at work or school. Doing simple little things like watching a movie together made me really appreciate my time with her. One day I was lounging on the couch and she threw a package of chocolate chips at me and said “Wow! It would be such a shame if these weren’t used. Hmmmmm I wonder what they could possibly be used for?” I couldn’t help but to laugh. I got the hint clear as day, and asked her if she would like to help me make some chocolate chip cookies. Of course she said yes! I loved making cookies with her. She is the reason I got into baking and it was heartwarming to go back to where my passion all began; in my grandmother’s kitchen with her making a mess of flour next to me.
Near the end of my time home the days started to fly by and before I knew it, my mom and I were back in my car on our way back to Hyde Park. It was bittersweet leaving home. On one hand I was saddened to be leaving my family and friends again, especially after being able to see them daily for three weeks. On the other hand though, I was excited to get back to campus. I have new classes to begin, friends to see, and a job I love to return back to. It is odd to think how easily CIA has become my home just as much as my house in Brook Park, Ohio is. In Hyde Park I have a family of a different kind, but I love them just the same. I choose to look at the situation not as leaving home and going back to school, but rather as leaving my original home and going to a new home I have created for myself. It is a wonderful feeling knowing that I have a place to call home even when I am 500 miles away from Cleveland.
Remember to Smile :)