Last night I had one of those nights where I had three or four really awesome blog ideas, and I didn’t write them down, and now I have no idea what they were. Sometimes, especially when I’m driving, I’ll think through entire blog posts, what they’ll say, in what order, little side jokes I can throw in and points that I can’t forget to make…. but then later it’s all forgotten.
As you know I went home yesterday, finally, after six months of not seeing Port Huron, it was nice to be back. Every time the day is over and I leave Port Huron my thought is always “Thanks for letting me visit, Port Huron, It’s been weird!”
Because, well, it’s always weird. It always leaves me with an internal battle on my feelings with ‘home’.
My family and I moved to Port Huron when I was 5. It was December, and cold. We’d moved from a small mobile home and this place seemed like a castle to me. It had a big yard and a little stream and woods all around. We arrived a few days before our furniture did so my parents, our puppy and I slept in sleeping bags in front of the fire place in the living room. I remember it shockingly well. My eldest brother was old enough to stay back and live in Plymouth, where we’d moved from, and the middle child, my other older brother, stayed back with him to finish that school year out.
I made my way through my life there, unaware of the big picture. I was too young to understand what the city was going through and how the changes in the nation were effecting this small town, and even more importantly, how the big wigs in town were slowing destroying it.
By the time I was in high school I only had one plan: Get Out.
It had been lovely, truly, growing up there. It has a small town feel but it’s big enough I wasn’t suffocating, but my relationship with my parents wasn’t amazing and Port Huron had subconsciously left me with no hopes or motivations. Port Huron is a place that sucks you dry and leaves you with low expectations for your life. Don’t take my word for it, ask almost anyone (living more than a mile from the water, and riding the poverty line like a small town wave).
I didn’t really decide to go to college until early in my senior year. I was visiting Flint and out of boredom I drove around and came across University of Michigan’s Flint campus, and kind of loved it. I thought it was a small patch of comfort and beauty in the middle of this crappy city and decided I’d apply, and since I was applying to one, I might as well apply to four universities, just to see what would happen, since that is how many schools you could send your test scores to.
I got in to all four universities I applied too, but decided to go to U of M-Flint. It was close enough to Port Huron so I could go home if needed but far enough away that I could be on my own and get away from my parents and the city I was growing to hate.
I changed a lot in college. I learned a lot about myself and made necessary adjustments to the person I was growing up to be. I threw myself, heart and soul into my major, even though I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it. I grew up. I gained more motivation, maturity and a desire to ‘be something’ than I ever thought I’ve have.
I graduated and continued on my path, ultimately moving even further away from Port Huron. I loved and lost and loved again. I made friends and lost friends and gained a sister in my now 11 year relationship with my closest friend. I became someone that I’m proud to be and I live a happy life.
The first step on my path to present was leaving Port Huron.
I wish Port Huron could be a better place to live and strive and grow. But, there are major changes that need to be made there, and unfortunately those changes won’t be happening anytime soon.
My trips home always remind me of why I left. I return and I see what has become of Port Huron, and even though the citizens are trying hard to keep the place alive, it’s a hard fight and I’m not sure they’re going to win. I see the lives my parents live and their struggle with loving a home, but hating it’s location. I see the way Port Huron has beat down on my parents, my brother, and my friends. I’m sad for those who can’t leave but want too, and happy for those who found happiness and choose to stay.
I’m genuinely sorry for my feelings towards the place I should call ‘home’. But I’m being honest, and trying not to be too hurtful.
Let’s be positive for a moment. Port Huron is BEAUTIFUL. Gorgeous lakes and beaches, breathtaking sunrises over the water, a downtown route that’s historical and lovely. But, since the owners of these locations aren’t willing to improve or involve tourism, these sites wasting away.
So, I go home, and I enjoy the time with my parents, but instead of curing my homesickness, it instead makes me appreciate the home I have now even more. By the end of my visit I realize I’m more homesick now for my current home, my boyfriend, my life here… so until next time, Port Huron. It’s been weird.