my friend amanda posted this on her blog today. she is moving back home after doing college/internships/job search in NY. i met her working at COSMOgirl! and i just really connect (and you know why, dear friend) to what she has said. i hope im brave enough one day to say the same:

Home Home Home

One of the speakers at my graduation said something that really stuck with me. Sitting among all of my peers and all of our parents at Radio City Music Hall in the middle of New York City, everything I had debated about my whole college career finally made sense. The speaker said, "Some of you will reach a point in your lives, maybe when you're 24, 35 or even some of you in your 50's where you will look at your life and say to yourself, 'This isn't where I want to be'. This is the point I reached, and the best advice I can give you is, change it. It's never too late to change your life around." Even though I was sitting with one thousand other people, I felt as though those words were meant for me in that moment. I thought about his words for days after my graduation, while I was on the Manhattan ferry boat with my parents and brother sight-seeing and walking around the City. But the final moment of my clarity happend at Penn Station when I was saying goodbye to my brother and my dad. My mom left earlier that day for the airport and I was just dropping my dad and brother off at the train station because they opted for Am-Track (don't even ask me why, I have no idea).

You know that lump in your throat that you get when you want to burst into tears but you can't and it starts to hurt? That's what happend to me when I hugged my dad goodbye. I instantly thought of the morning I left for NY in August 2002 and it would be the first time I lived away from my family. My dad and brother brought me to the airport and sat with me until I had to leave and I just burst into tears. And to be quite honest, I've almost burst into tears like that every single time I leave them when I go back to NY. I walked away from Penn Station not caring about how long it would take me to get home, I just pulled my sunglasses down and let a few tears roll down my cheeks, even on the train. I just kept thinking about my life and everything that has happend to me in the last few years. Ever since my dad's accident, I've really changed my mind about family and where I want to be. My mom has always been the parent to support me no matter what I want to do. She'd probably still support me if I wanted to run off and join a circus. I love her. I know I say this constantly, but I'm going to say it again, the most important thing in my life is my family. No doubt.

One of the things I've regretted the most since my great-grandparents passed away was that I didn't ask them enough questions about their lives, upbringing and lives. I was too young to understand and now I'll never know. I know in twenty years I'll look back on my life, when I'm 43, and hopefully I'll be married with children in a house in Minnesota. I'll miss the friends I've made here in NY, but I won't for a second regret moving back to MN. No job opportunities in NY could outweigh the time I would spend with family. How could a paycheck be more important than my family? You can't put a price on family and that's exactly why I can't leave them. I guess the reason I've been thinking about this so much today is because I'm leaving in less than two weeks and I am getting a little sad about the people I'll be saying goodbye to. There are a few people that I've wondered if I'll even see them again. Not close friends because I'll definately see them again before I go. I guess I mean people like the guy at the Deli on the corner who always says hi and tells me to have a good day. Or the guys who work at the convenience store on the other corner who always smile and small chat with me. It's hard for me to look back at my college experience and say, ok, I've partied with these people, lived in this dorm and studied with these professors. I've lived in 2 diff rooms, one apartment, had diff roommates, friends, classes and professors, even jobs! I have been exposed to so many people and I am very thankful for all of that. It's just hard to feel like I've settled anywhere yet.

Moving back to Minnesota, and to Minneapolis, I know some people from high school down there. Some of them are friends I was really close to back in middle school. I really miss them and I would love more than anything to reconnect with them but I know that would be hard. I'm excited to be with my family and my best friends I've grown up with. Some things will be hard to adjust to though. Such as, I will miss my wednesday drinking nights with Emily, my Monday opening shifts with Deanne and Meagan and our drinking afterwards, my random nights in Bay Ridge with Su and random nights at Kitty's with Anthony. You know that knot? When I think about all of this stuff it comes back. The last entry I wrote talked about how certain friends seem to be distancing themselves, they still are and I guess to them I say I'm sorry I'm leaving. I can't be sorry that I made this choice though because it's the right thing for me. I feel like I've used these last five years in NY to grow independently as a person in so many aspects of my life and I've just gone through so much in such a short period of time and I've lived and dealt with it. I'm ready to come home and be with the fam, ya'll. lol

xoxo Amanda

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