My parent's house, like any house you grow up in, is my favorite. They live in a wealthy neighborhood in Dallas, but bought the house before the neighborhood contained multi story mega mansions, complete with heated pools and opulent entryways. My mom makes improvements on the house every so often and my Dad is meticulous with the yard.
It's a pretty, white brick house with deep brown shutters that Michael and I helped build ten or so years ago. There is, however, one crooked shutter. A decade ago, I went too fast hammering in the nail, and didn't realize how crooked it was until we put the shutter up. Now, I look at that shutter and I smile every time. Others might scoff, but to me, it gives the house character.
Back home in Dallas this past weekend,the smallest things made me smile. Leaving Waffle House after visiting with my friend Thursday night, I saw a billboard for a local law firm. I looked up at it, gleaming yellow in the night light, and laughed. Yes, it's just a billboard. But it's so inherently Dallas and it made me reminisce. The lawyer's wide, toothy, grin flashed almost knowingly at me as I sped down the freeway. Reminding me that I'll never fully leave home, my heart will always be here.
I'm a homebody. I always have been. I've never really felt the need to move different places because I just like my home so much. Sure, I love to travel around as much as possible. But leaving Dallas was never really in my plan. Until it became the plan.
Moving to Nashville has been a wonderful experience. It's good for me to be in a different city and expand my horizons. And my city skylines. To make new friends and have a whole new outlook on how things work outside of Dallas. But when I come home, I feel the pull to move back. I miss my family and friends and the comforting feeling of familiarity.
I once had a teacher tell me that the things you'll miss about a place will sometimes be the silliest, smallest things. We were about to graduate high school and I rolled my eyes, not believing him. “Just you wait,” he said. “When you leave Ursuline, you'll look at a drain pipe and remember that drain pipe as YOUR drain pipe.” Now every time I pass the school I look at the drain pipe.
I am making new memories and friends in Nashville. I'm having a lot of fun and getting to do some things I never thought I'd do. I also feel like I'm getting to really buckle down and focus on my blog, which I love.
But I know that I'll move back to Dallas one day. This is where my roots and my home remain. It's hard to leave a city you love. I think, for a homebody, I've done a pretty good job of balancing it. But I can't help sneaking back to my neighborhood and spying on my house. I love sitting on the back porch with my mom as we discuss our dreams of writing. And yes, I even miss the small things. Like cheesy billboards.
How do you deal with moving away? Even if you know it's not forever?