The summer before my freshman year of college, I counted down the days in anticipation to leave home. I wanted freedom, and finally, after 18 long years, I had it within reach. And while I was genuinely sad to leave, I was also excited about being on my own for the first time. New friends, new faces, new experiences, and no more restraints on how to live life.
When that first Thanksgiving break came, I remember the dread of visiting home. My new life was at college now, with the people and experiences that I had grown close to that semester. Even though I missed my parents and old friends, I spent most of that break wishing I were back - back to my new life, back to what I thought was important. As school life got busier, mixed in with internships, relationships, and the general freneticism of life in New York, visiting family became a lesser and lesser priority. There were several Thanksgivings and Christmases when I'd go on trips with friends instead of visiting home and seeing family.
As the years have gone on, people have come and gone in my life: friends, girlfriends, bosses, coworkers, teachers, students, the list goes on. I've changed schools, jobs, and even coasts. The more things change, the more I appreciate and love the one constant in my life: family. Each time I visit home, I know that I'll be welcomed with the same trust, care and unconditional love that only your family can have for you. All of the losses, mistakes, and worries weighing on my shoulders disappear the moment I step inside the house, and my family cares only that I'm home - nothing else.
The older I get, the more I cherish time spent at home and especially so now that I live on the other side of the country. I don't think I've been the easiest child to my parents, but they've never cared about that and knowing that makes me want to try harder at spending time with them in the future. The past few years have gone by in a blur, between work, travel, and relationships, and I don't want to ever regret not having spent more time with my parents.
Today is the first day of 2015, exactly two weeks away from my 27th birthday and over 8 years since that first day of college. I have written down a list of 10 goals I'm driven to accomplish this year. I'm determined to complete them all, but none more so than #1: