Going Home by Courtney

Courtney Hutton

Courtney Hutton

Every time I drive down I-75 from Bowling Green to Dayton it’s raining. Granted, I really don’t drive to Dayton unless the campus is closed for break, but still. Every time that I have packed up my car and stopped at the Starbucks drive-thru for my customary fuel, there has been the slow start of raindrops on my windshield. I’ve never been a big fan of clichés, but this coincidence is just too good to pass up.

The very first return to my dad’s house October of my freshman year, I didn’t notice the feeling. I was too excited to finally go home for the first time since moving in at BG. Well, “home.” I wanted to see my dog, visit my friends who were still around, sleep in my own bed. But when I finally pulled into my driveway, raindrops spilling into my weekend suitcase, something was different. Something had changed. This was my house, but walking in the front door just didn’t feel like home at all. I thought it was maybe the weather. Maybe it was because it was late and I was tired. I’d just sleep, and the next morning it would be like I’d never left at all.

Well, that’s not quite how it went. It’s quite the anomaly. Everything had changed, yet everything was going in the same cycle as it always had. I sat at the breakfast table and watched my family interact. My dad and his fiancée talked about people from work that I would never remember. Her son pretended he wasn’t watching the tv over his mom’s shoulder. My dog slept underneath my chair, waiting for me to sit with her in the floor to hold her. This was right, this was what my house was like, but something was just off. It finally hit me that what was off was me.

It’s funny the way change happens so suddenly and we still don’t notice it. I didn’t think I was any different. I hadn’t noticed myself getting more outgoing, more confident, more tired, more mature. But my family certainly did. I didn’t fit in the same place that I used to. I had a place still, just a different one, less of weekly regular and more of a necessary guest star. They all still loved me, of course, but there was something profoundly depressing in realizing that the universe of that house could function just fine without me as a constant member.

Driving back to BG at the end of fall break, I felt an excitement. Not the same excitement I’d felt the last time I had made that trip, the time I drove with all of my belongings to move into a 10’x15’ room. This time, it was a familiar excitement. Knowing that I was making my way back to my room, to where I fit, to the universe that needed me in it still. I was going home.

So, you see, it seems fitting that it rains each time I travel to my dad’s house. Sure, sometimes I’m excited for the holiday, or maybe for the long break from classes, but there’s a part of me that‘s homesick for my dorm room the second it’s in my rearview mirror. Maybe that doesn’t happen to everyone, or maybe it does. All I know is that there’s no feeling quite like the one I get when I see the exit sign on I-75, and the outline of the stadium comes gliding into my vision.

Courtney Hutton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar