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They say you can't go home again.  But why not?  You just pack up a bag, fill up your car with gas, and head West.  After a day of driving, you're home and you're happy.

But it isn't the same, is it?  Your sister has your old room and your other sister has your old car... You aren't home anymore because home isn't living out of a suitcase.  You don't have your old chores.  You can barely find time to see your whole family, let alone set aside an afternoon to get a haircut.  You try to find time to do everything that you know will heal your soul: pick wildflowers, take a walk through the hay field, have a bonfire, drive the back roads, do yard work with your grandma.

But you can never ever recreate the person you were before you left your heart behind.  You will never live in the same safe little bubble again.  Whether you want it to or not, leaving this place has changed you.  And when you stop long enough to count the months and realize you're almost on month nine of living in this foreign place, you shouldn't count how many you have left.

While you want to be home, you can't help but think about the people you left behind: the ones you don't really like.  The ones who will think, "That Taurie Dechow moved to Massachusetts for a boy and is doing nothing with her life."  The ones who will think, "She's still a dreamer, she hasn't changed a bit.  Pity, because the rest of us have."

Again, I never really liked those people anyway, and I know the people who love me and respect me don't think those things about me.  But it's hard to go home and see people who you don't ever care to see again... or try so hard to make people like you who aren't in your life at all anymore.

So maybe I'll never be a doctor and maybe I'll never have the desire to go to graduate school.  Maybe I'm lucky enough to have found someone who will allow and encourage me walk in a field of wildflowers forever.  Maybe I'm lucky enough to have a family that embraces the girl who likes to wear sundresses and walk to the creek.

I'm trying not to let this place change me.  I really want to move home in three years and be able to say that I'm still an imaginer and that I still believe in magic.  I want people to see me and think, "She hasn't changed a bit... that's awesome!"

So as I sit here in front of open suitcases and lists, I'm beyond excited to go home.  I'm a little different, but I'm a lot the same.  No one will ever embrace me the way that home does, so I guess, in a way, you can go home again.

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