Columbus, MS – Living in a small town my entire life I never thought that I would feel the way I currently do about my sweet home.
Since 2001, I have lived in Columbus, Mississippi. A quaint town with, according to Google, a population of 24,041 people. I grew up here, lived in the same house here, and was shaped by the activities and people around me.
For so long, I had different feelings toward this town. There was nothing to do and I was tired of doing the same things I had done for the better part of my life. However, since going off to college I grew a better appreciation for this little place I call home.
Home is wherever you are most comfortable. For me home feels like it is anywhere my family is. The definition of a home does not have to be a physical building. I fully believe that “home” can be a person or a feeling. I feel at home when I am with my family but I also feel at home in the DG house in Oxford when all my friends. I feel at home when I go to my Nana and Papa’s house and sit on her couch and smell the oh so familiar smell of her fireplace. Home does not have to be a physical place.
My senior year of high school I couldn’t wait to be out of here to be anywhere but “home”. I was ready to move on. My freshman year of college, not 2 hours after my parents said goodbye to me at my dorm, I was longing for the feeling of home. Over the past three years, I have slowly but surely felt that home was Oxford and Columbus. Home in Oxford is my friends and 89 Sorority Row. Home in Columbus is the town, my childhood home, and my family. It is walking into anywhere and automatically knowing at least 3 people. It is also living downtown and being able to walk to work and church. It is my church and the people there. It is people who take a genuine interest in my life and really want to see me be successful in the future. It is the community and the people who helped shape me.
This summer has been an eyeopening one to me in the few weeks I have been “home” as in Columbus. I am getting to see my community and my home in a different light. I am able to see the different people and who they are. I am able to see community involvement and how the people of our town come together to help those in need. That is one thing I miss most about Columbus when I am in Oxford is the way our community can gather together and help someone in need. Whether that be through seeing what my mom does with Habitat for Humanity, the recent tornado damage repair or so much more.
This town has been broken and hit differently and harshly so many times just in 2019. However, it continually comes back stronger.
The people here are strong and courageous. So to anyone who had a hand in helping me “grow up” even though I still have a lot to do, thank you. Those early years of my life were very important. From VBS leaders to church members, youth group leaders, restaurant owners, friends, friends parents, extended family, store workers, volunteers, guest speakers from elementary, middle and high school, the people who wrote my sorority recommendation letters and so many more, THANK YOU. Whether your time in Columbus was half of mine, double mine, or triple mine, our time together here shaped me. As I have been reflecting on my childhood years I am thankful for the small instances that shaped me.
To the friendly city of Columbus, I love you and hope you and your people continue to make good people. To anyone reading this, look around and be thankful for whatever town it is that shaped you. I am thankful for mine even if it took a while to realize.
I never knew anywhere but Columbus would feel like home. After reading this quote I am glad it does.
“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” – Miriam Adeney
Missing some of my pieces of “home” all over the United States but also feeling very at peace being home in Columbus.