There’s No Place Like Home.

Returning home can feel like you have been caught between two completely different worlds.
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You have the world that you moved to that is new and riveting and full of possibilities that is quite frankly, scary. And then you have the world you used to live in, home, where you were comfortable and used to everything, glued to routine, and where you constantly day-dreamed about living somewhere else.
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Last weekend I finally got the opportunity to make a much anticipated trip home after living in Portland for about 3 1/2 months!
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I kept confusing myself because, well, naturally, I kept referring to Portland as home, but still felt the need to refer to Walla Walla as home. Both are considerably accurate, but I concluded that maybe it doesn’t matter. That over time, the list of places you call home only grows longer and longer.
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Home brought back a variety of emotions and feelings.
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I can’t explain how full I felt after being home. My heart overflowed with love and so much joy. I loved getting to hear peoples hearts and join in laughter and fellowship and share smiles with the friends I’ve missed so, so much.
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I made 4 trips to the Colville Street Patisserie, one to Graze and Olive, a first of many more trips to Clarettes, and a couple other spots. I checked everything off the list of things I wanted to do on my first trip back home. And let’s be honest, I’ll probably always want to do the things on that list when I’m there.
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The comfort that comes with being home is ridiculous. And I mean that in the best way possible.
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Nothing is better than fresh cinnamon rolls in the morning, tea in the afternoon, and classic christmas movies in the night. And of course, nothing is more comforting than your mothers home cooking.
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There’s a lot of things that have solidified my decision to move to Portland, but returning home and seeing what exactly I left behind and also remembering what I chose is reassuring. Despite the challenges it has brought and how hard it has been at times, I can say with complete assurance that I made one of the best decisions of my life.
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Though I fell immediately in love with my church’s new building and I am sad to have left it at such an exciting time, I’m still so grateful to have been able to see it, even if it was only for a weekend.
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I did find that while in Walla Walla, I was missing Portland a lot. Most likely because I have definitely established in my heart that it is my new home.
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Over the course of my trip I had several people ask me all the usual questions like “How’s Portland?…How’s college?…How long are you in town for?” You start to feel like a celebrity emerging from the shadows for their first appearance in a long time. It was like every person I welcomed in had a mini interview in store for me. It was neat.
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In the midst of all the usual questions I was asked if I was ever going to move back. And without even having to think I blurted out a light-hearted “Oh, gosh no!”
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When I thought so much about where it was I wanted to go to college, I also made sure it was going to be a place I wouldn’t mind settling in to permanently live. And I think that’s exciting. Reaching a point where you can happily say with little to no fear that you’re not moving back home. Once you get a taste of such an awesome place, there really is no question of if you’re going to come back.
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Ironically, I have been writing all of this while watching The Wizard of Oz. As you all may know, in hopes to return to Kansas, Dorothy taps the heels of her sparkly red slippers together crying out “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.”
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And, after being back in Portland for a week now, there really is no place quite like home.
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I have found myself drawing many similarities between myself and young Dorothy. She attempts to run away from home because no one quite understands her desire to see big cities and anything other than big skied Kansas. A place with “no trouble.” But before she knows it all of her life is sucked up (quite literally) by a tornado. And though the new world she finds herself in happens to be wonderful,  it is also very frightening.
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Now I know I don’t live in Kansas, I’ve never once seriously felt like running away from home, and I’m not a fan of dogs, so I dont have one named Toto.
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But, nonetheless, I can relate to wanting to travel to bigger cities and escape from home for a period of time to experience more of life from a different perspective.
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However, much like a lot of the things we wish the longest time for, everything is not always what it is cracked up to be.
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As I look at myself in Portland I see an excited, anticipated person who is in love with her life despite the fact that not everything has completely transpired into what it is cracked up to be. I am far from where it is I see myself being. And even when I make it to where I want to be, there will only be another finish line needing to be crossed.
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Just how Dorothy follows the yellow brick road, I will follow the Lord through life and the challenges it may bring.
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We’ve all felt like a Scarecrow without a brain, a rusty Tinman without a heart, and I’m sure we’ve all felt like a very cowardly Lion. But in the end we find our common sense and wisdom, our heart grows bigger each day, and we find the courage that it takes to live life at large, fearlessly. All while remembering there is truly no place like the places you call home. And I’m so grateful to be calling Portland home.
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Makayla
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