Recreating Hometowns

And allowing old ones to fade into the background

Illustrator: Ruby Guthrie

Illustrator: Ruby Guthrie

Can a home be wherever you make it? Or is it a defined place of origin?

These questions flooded my mind as I stayed on campus over spring break. Between the Target runs and spontaneous adventures with my friends, I found myself listening to nostalgic music that often filled my high school years, reminding me of my life pre-college. One song that I found myself playing over and over was “Hometown” off of Twenty One Pilots’ album Blurryface. Until recently, the song was just another song. However, its message on leaving your hometown was eye opening. After leaving for college, the past seemed to fade into the background, or as it is stated in the song: “Our hometown’s in the dark.” This idea of darkness surrounding my hometown is something I can definitely agree with as an out-of-state student.

My hometown is something I miss, but not for the normal reasons. I don’t miss the black hole that’s created by persuading people to stay and work there their entire lives. What I miss is the comfort and understanding of the way things are: the predictable traffic before school, the positive relationships with teachers and friends I’ve known for years, the shortcuts to quickly navigate the hallways, and more things that come with time. Minneapolis has made me fall in love with the city and it’s people, but it has also been a major reality check for me in terms of what the world is like outside of a small, familiar town. I’m in love with the city, but I find myself missing the simplicity and understanding of home sometimes.

Does this mean I wish to return to my hometown? No. It means that I should strive to recreate the same atmosphere wherever I go by becoming more familiar with wherever I am. For example, I’ve found quiet roof tops at sunset that remind me of parking lot confessionals back in high school, and hidden places throughout the city where I go to relax and listen to my favorite nostalgic albums from those years of my life. I know that Minneapolis may be overwhelming, but with time that overwhelming pace can become as comforting and familiar as my hometown, which has now faded into the background.