I told myself that I wouldn’t write one of these again on tumblr, but I felt so strongly that I felt should. Today, I walked away from a place that I called home for a summer. A place where I felt in touch and connected with the world. I drove back home slowly so that I could take mental images of all the sights I’ve grown so accustomed to seeing each and everyday, as it was most likely the last time I would be seeing them. I spent my last night in Winona answering the same question. “Are you ready to move back home?”. To be honest, I had mixed feelings. I really wouldn’t call it bittersweet. I of course was thrilled at the prospect of being able to surrounded by my loved ones, and return to the place that is truly my home, but at the same time I wanted to spend more time in the place that made me grow as a person even though it was only for one summer. As silly as it sounds, in the short amount of time i spent there, I grew. I built a life in a town and could finally call it my own. I took pride in that. Being there alone forced me to take a step into the world and view it in my own eyes. Winona offered me this new perspective on life. It wasn’t necessarily a different way of living, but more of a view from a different angle. There was so little there, yet so much to live for. There were days I decided to explore. I would go for walks in the parks, drive by new places and see something new every time, and it was exciting. Each time, my perspective on the world and life in general changed. I appreciated life more, and noticed its beauty. I engulfed myself in the colors of the world. Unfortunately, I experienced this new perspective alone, and had no one to share this feeling with. Camera phone quality photographs just do not do the world justice. Any type of photograph really can’t replace seeing what i saw and feeling what I felt at that moment. Even just taking a drive to the shops in Wisconsin granted me this new perspective. I took a moment and had to remind myself where I was in the world. I let myself get lost in a random town in Wisconsin and walked among the strangers wondering who they were, what their story was. They were no different from you or me, it’s just that being a completely new place made it feel like they were coming from a different world, that their world made them different. And again the excitement ran strong again, the constant wondering about the world and its vastness. I spent 21 years in the same suburban town looking at life from the same angle. Spending my whole life here I like to pretend I’m an expert, when i truly had not seen it at all. Winona was so different from what I knew, and it is only one small town. Imagine being somewhere across state lines, across national borders, across the seas, there’s life. And we never may never know.
Those are just thoughts and feelings. Thoughts and feelings that no one will ever truly understand nor feel, and that’s okay. I experienced a new perspective on the world that forced me to grow. And that is something I have the pride in calling my own. But I returned home. I returned home knowing I’ll go back to the old perspective on the world and the same old routine. As I arrived home, and I put my car in park. I stepped out knowing everything I fell in love with in Winona, will now just become memories, and that I close a very big chapter in my life where I saw, learned, grew and restored faith. I will forever be grateful for what Winona offered me and be ready to write the next chapters of my life.
— (via frankocean)