When I recently had to go back to California because of my mom's passing I referred to it as going home. I was born and raised in California and therefore considered it home. However, I had proclaimed many a time that I would never live there agin because it is too expensive and I cannot handle the earthquakes. But I always considered it home.
I was there for almost 3 weeks. I was able to visit quite a few of my favorite places between planning a funeral, dealing with going through stuff, and getting certain affairs in order. I got see and spend time with family. I ate at most of my favorite restaurants and fast food joints. I visited neighborhoods I had not seen in years. I fell in live with Whittier, my bithplace and hometown, all over again. I began to think that one day when TJ retires from the Army, maybe I would like to go back and live there.
Then I came back to Kansas. Prior to the visit to California I had been thinking that I would like to eventually settle right here, in Junction City. Even though I technically don't live there, I felt that my heart was there and I would like to one day become a resident. The nostalgia of being back in California overshadowed that.
However, today, I was reminded just where my heart lies and it is indeed in Junction City. It is the people of Junction City, most in particular, the people I work with. They are all beyond wonderful. They made me feel so welcomed to be back and missed. They made my heart happy during such a difficult time. I have received so much support from them. They are like family. I have always known this, but today I truly felt it.
I also felt once again, that Kansas is where I truly belong. I know our army life will take us away from here eventually, but I believe that it will also bring us back. My heart is here. I claim Kansas as my own now and it hurts me when I hear people insult it.
I now refer to Junction City as my adopted hometown and Whittier as my original hometown. I don't think I will ever tire of visiting Whittier and California, but I know again that I will never make my home there. I will make it in Kansas.