By Danielle, age 18, South Carolina
Editor's Note: To fully appreciate this article, it is recommended that you also read Danielle's "Life in the Dumps" (SDM, Feb '12) in last month's issue.
Home is always as sweet as everyone puts it out to be. I've been home for almost three months now and nothing is the same as before. I thought coming home meant a better life, but all I can see are the reasons I left all over again. I'm slowly coming to a realization that life turns the tables on you whenever you feel low just to see if you can make it through. Sometimes I find myself thinking about Indiana and wondering if I made the right decision coming back; I know I did, but sometimes I wonder if I should have.
The South is my home, my friend, and my family. It comforts me when I feel alone and need someone, and mothers me no one else will. I sit in my room full of sliding glass doors and see its natural beauty and wonder if anyone else sees it like I do. I reach my hand to the space where Dylan should be and start to cry. It has been a routine thing since we came back because my grandmother said he couldn't live here this time around. Also, even though he only lives twenty minutes away by car, she won't let me use it to go and see him. It's the worst feeling in the world to not be able to see the man you love. I feel like there's a hole inside of me that grows deeper and wider as the days pass on. Sure, she lets me use the car maybe once a week, but that's not nearly enough. I've even resorted to sleeping with his shirt like all the sad girls in the movies. It makes me laugh right now, but when that time of night comes again I'll be distressed again. When we came back from Indiana I never expected it to be like this, but with no money what can you really do? Actually, there are lots of things you can do, and that is just what we're doing.
I have currently applied for Converse College, USC Upstate, Spartanburg Community College, and Spartanburg Methodist College. My hopes are to go to one of these and follow my dreams of being a child psychologist. Over the years I've changed my mind on what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be when the time came. Now, I know, and I couldn't be happier with my decision. I will also be trying to double major so that I will have my English degree as well. My future looks so healthy and bright again. It's hard to believe that three months ago I was willing to drop out of school and just live a life of no certainty. What I was thinking I have no idea, but the truth is I wasn't thinking. My mind was seduced and clouded by a world of marijuana. I sit here today and can't really remember those days, but what I've learned is I'll never go back.
As for Dylan, he will be leaving for a Christian rehabilitation center. It's a program that will get him a job, housing, and transportation, as long as he stays right with God. It's going to be hard to have him go, but here he will get the help he needs. We've had it tough these past few months and yet we've still managed to conquer through it all. I truly believe it is our love that has gotten me through these hard times. What we have is a real southern love.
My love for the South has driven me away and brought me back many times. Nowhere else is like the country fields with the smell of cows lingering in the air. Nothing else compares to sitting on your front porch and watching the stars shine as bright as they can for you to say, "Nothing is like the South." I know I have to be strong to get through all my life's obstacles, and I fully intend on making my dreams come true. My southern love will pull me through once again.