Having recently completed my freshman year of college, I have encountered something completely new– something no college grad had thought to warn me about. I have found that I now live in two places. I have spent a great part of my year in beautiful south east New York at Nyack, while looking forward to coming “home” to small town Macungie, Pennsylvania.
Upon arriving home, however, I can’t say that I really feel like I live here anymore. Because my past 8 and a half months have been occupied by school work, the Hudson, the big NYC, and friends from all over the country– for that matter, all over the world– who have become my family. On the other hand, my hometown is my favorite place on earth, and I wouldn’t trade my family for the world.
It’s a very complicated feeling to have, this living in two places thing. It feels like two completely different worlds each filled with their own sets of people, places, things and memories, unique to each. The lyrics in a song by the band Relient K say, “If home is where the heart is, my home is where you are”. Though this song was probably written with a female in mind, it is none the less applicable.
I have found that both Nyack and Macungie are now home to me. I’ve spent many days wondering why this could be, and I think I’ve realized the answer. It’s not because of the long periods of time I’ve spent at each place or even how well I know the area, but rather the relationships synonymous with the locations. In both places I can now say I have incredibly close friends, and though my parents are in PA, adults at Nyack have taken parental roles in my life. And most importantly, I have experienced my relationship with God fully and intimately during my time in New York as well as in Pennsylvania.
This life style of living in two places has been incredibly hard to adjust to, but I have gained a lot from it. Overall, God has brought be closer to Him. I have always known that God is omnipresent and will be with me where ever I go, but in this somewhat mobile lifestyle, I have had intimate encounters with God regardless of my location. This has made my relationship with God a part of me more than any church, school, or home ever could.
To any incoming freshman, I would like to warn you that learning to live in two places is challenging, but it is so worth any heartache you may experience. The past 8 months have stretched me, and torn me; molded me, and broken me, but I can say that am more whole now than I have ever been.