Weekend in the Woods - A Reflection

I think I'm a city girl. Maybe. Most of the time, lately, I'm not sure. Growing up I couldn't wait to move out and into an apartment in a city. At first it was New York, then it was Los Angeles, then it was Chicago. I took the plunge on that last one. I don't regret it, but it's a lot different than I could have ever anticipated.

Truthfully, city life is exhausting. I underestimated how much work it is to live amongst the hustle and bustle of Chicago, or any city. Grocery shopping is the biggest pain in the butt you could ever imagine. I'm kept up every night by "This is Harold Washington Library. Transfer to red, blue, orange, pink, and brown line trains at Harold Washington Library" and enough sirens that you'd think the world was ending. I've almost been hit by awful drivers about a hundred times. Not having a car and instead having to rely on public transportation is something I've grown to really despise.

I've come to realize that I can't ever refer to Chicago as "home." I don't even say "I'll be home soon" to my roommates, because it doesn't feel like like home. "I'll be back at the apartment soon," seems to suffice a little bit better in my mind.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that even things you think you're certain of, you may end up second guessing.

I crave home every day. Ironically, though, home isn't Mars, or even Pittsburgh. While I carry an immense amount of Pittsburgh pride, when I'm really homesick, I'm missing more than a familiar place.

"Home," to me, has become a multi-facet experience. Home is people who I'm most comfortable with. Home is places I'm experiencing with those people. Home is the memories that live in those places. It's funny, as I'm writing this sentence, my bus is passing the hotel I stayed in when I was last in Toledo a few weeks ago with some of my best friends. There's a piece of home in that hotel room. There's a piece of home left in Room 131 1/2 in Mars High, the center section between 131 and 133 where I developed what became "Garbage." There's a piece of home in the trunk of my car, where my friends sit while we wait for concerts to start. I left a piece of home in "Squad House" back in Akron.

Home is in a lot of the people I've met in the past year or so. I wish I found the majority of these people earlier in my life, though I'll chalk that up to the idea that everything happens the way it's supposed to.

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I always seem to go off on random tangents before getting to my actual point, and I'm sorry for that. Rambling on a blog is cool because nobody can tell you to shut up, you can just stop reading and no one will ever know.

Anyway. This weekend I took a bus from Chicago to Cleveland to spend the weekend with my wonderful friends in the band Take A Breath. They were writing and recording demos all week in Hudson. 14 hours of my weekend were spent on a bus. Approximately 12 hours of this full weekend were spent sleeping. About an hour was spent driving around trying to find an open Steak & Shake and listening to "Made In The AM" (and getting pulled over because Ohio believes anyone out at 2am is a delinquent, apparently). Approximately 45 minutes were spent listening to the Justin Bieber record for the first time and the guys making fun of my reactions. (I can't help my love for the Biebs, sorry.) All the rest of the time was full of productivity, as the guys wrote smash after smash.  I even got to have a very small and unimportant part in one of the songs. You can't even tell that I'm on there but I'll probably always look back and laugh at what was said. I left with a sick new demo on my phone, and in return I left behind a little piece of home in those woods. I hope to one day return.

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I've been struggling again, mostly with this never ending battle of how miserable I feel when I'm at school. But this weekend reminded me that I don't have to be miserable. I'm blessed to have the ability to do a lot of really cool things and to have the support I do. For now, and for the next year and a half, I'm stuck in school to finish up my education, but after that, moments like the ones I had this weekend could very well be my future. And there's nothing I want more than that. I'm ready to sell my soul away to this crazy music industry, just as long as I go into it with the right people who believe in me and my abilities 100%. And it's weird to think that at just 19 years old, I might be on the right track and with the right people surrounding me.

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Although my butt is completely numb as I embark on the final hour of this bus ride, it's been worth it. Sometimes you just need to get out of the city and find home again, and sometimes you can find that in random woods in Ohio surrounding yourself with really good music with equally-as-great people, even if it compromises your sleep.

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