At Peace.

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Tomorrow I embark back to Kent for my Sophomore year of college. I had to visit my beautiful nature center once more by myself before I leave at 8 tomorrow morning. My feelings on leaving are very different than last year and I suppose it's hard for me to admit that. All I wanted to do was leave last year and not look back on this town, all of the people in it, and the memories it held for me. I had no problem of never coming back again and for the first six months every time I came back I hated it. 

But as the weeks have come to go back to Kent this summer I found myself not being so anxious to leave as I was last year. This  summer I have such an appreciate for this town that I never knew before leaving for college. I am sad to leave. Actually sad. People ask me if I'm excited to go back and although I always say that I am, there is a little part of me that feels at such peace and comfort here.

What I've learned in the past year is you can not run away from where you're from. You cannot simply say "I'm not ever coming back here, sayonara" As humans we will always have an attachment to where we grow up and I am no different. I feel a deep sadness in leaving tomorrow I didn't expect. I got a chance to connect with high school friends in more meaningful relationships than I thought I had. I was given an incredible job opportunity, something that solidified my love for my major (and I would have never though this would happen in my hometown). I've repaired broken, shattered relationships that I thought were hopeless and they now have a light and hope to them again. I've connected to God here which I never have and finally, come to the appreciation of a place I never had appreciation for. Even though I can't say I really did much this summer, in a way, looking back I did a lot. Not on the outside, but on the inside I've grown this summer where I thought I would have receded and deteriorated.

I will miss my sweet nature center so much. It's the one place I can't imagine never visiting again. I am over come by peace there and happiness. It makes me so sad to miss its little changes while I'm away. The gradual turning of the leaf colors, the fading of the flowers, the trails being beaten down by the feet of adventurers and dreamers. Feet that won't be mine really for another nine months. I took my favorite coffee drink today and walked along the trails hitting all of my favorite places. The lily pond; the watch tower; the creek with skimmers; the bridge with my name and his name carved on it still; and all the other nooks and crannies that are sacred to me since starting to come almost four years ago. 

It sounds strange, but I felt like the old Lauren again. I don't know exactly who the old Lauren is and I don't know how she's exactly different but I felt like her again tonight in the best way. I can only explain it as a naivety and childish sense of hope and happiness. So care free, running through those woods again before so much happened and so much changed these past few years. It was wonderful to meet that Lauren again and feel her.

I am nervous and scared tomorrow despite knowing that Kent is my REAL home and the place where all of my dreams and happiness lie. I don't know why I have this hesitation, this fear. But I'm admitting it's there. The fear of failing and the fear of unknown of my life, despite things being known (if that makes sense). I can't wait to be reunited with my friends tomorrow-- I think I'll cry with happiness to see their sweet faces. 

After visiting my nature center I am at peace tonight for whatever happens tomorrow and whatever happens this coming school year. God is truly in control.

With much love, Lauren.
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3 lovely little notes:

Charmaine said...

Beautiful post! In a weird way, I can totally relate, I've just moved back to my hometown for a few months too. So glad I've learned to love it. Have a great new year at university!

Hannah Gottlieb-Graham said...

This post is so sweet. I can totally relate to how you're feeling right now- I've just moved to the East Coast and I start school in New York in exactly a week, but I'm originally from Illinois. I miss the open country and long bike rides and silent nights. New York is filled with constant hustle and bustle and noise, and I love it, but in a much different way than how I love Illinois. I definitely started feeling more connected to my hometown when I started the moving process, and I know that I'll always go home to visit! Good luck with your sophomore year!

Xo, Hannah

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countrygirlcityfashion said...

This was so beautiful. Thank you so much, Lauren, for letting us into your life and letting us see your heart. It means a lot, and is the biggest reason why I love your blog - your wonderful fashion is a close second. ;)

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