By Colleen Clark
When gearing up to write about my relationship with my parents while I’ve been at school, I found this quote:
“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”
— Miriam Adeney
This rings true in so many ways, and even though it kind of sounds sad, it’s a wonderful thing.
A few weekends ago, my parents came to visit me. It was the most recent visit in a series of many meaningful trips.
Since Columbus is so far from home back in Maryland, it feels like a foreign land sometimes, and the first few visits were much more about exploring the city and my parents comforting me as I got used to being away from them. This was back when I was sent care packages every few weeks—now I buy my own candy and ramen (is this what adulthood is?).
But even though we are all more used to Columbus and we have already seen the sights like the zoo and eaten our fair share of Jeni’s Ice Cream, it still feels new and exciting whenever they visit.
I have spent the past three years far away from where I grew up, starting new in a community full of strangers, and this experience has heavily tested the concept of “home” for me. I’ve started growing farther and farther apart from high school friends who were incredibly hard to part from. I now don’t know how I’ll adjust to being separated from new friends at school. I also don’t know where I’ll be in May – will I stay in Columbus, go back to DC, or be somewhere new entirely? I don’t even know where I most want to be.
Whenever I see my parents, I realize that I have a home whenever and wherever I am with them. I am so lucky to have a happy and healthy relationship with them, and they have become the only stable definition of “home” for me the past few years. I’m an only child, so the three of us make a small but good family.
They accidentally fell in love with Columbus the same way I did. We stay in the Holiday Inn on 4th street when they visit, which makes it a small vacation for me too (although I still have to do homework…). We always stop by Lemongrass Bistro, Lavash Café, Haiku Poetic Food and Art, and 39 Below Frozen Yogurt when they come.
On this visit we went to the beautiful Wexner Art Center at OSU, and it was the first time for all of us. We did manage to make it to campus for the Family Weekend events for just a bit, even if it was just to take a picture and buy a CCAD T-shirt. But what was most fun for me was getting a chance to relax with them—we went to see Monsters University at the dollar theater on Bethel [Road]—which happens to be directed by a CCAD alumnus, Dan Scanlon!
If you are not in school yet, I strongly urge you to go where you want to go most. It is a good thing to get out of your comfort zone and explore somewhere new! But please do not forget to spend time with the people you love. Cherish your time with your family and make time to see them. The idea of “family” has always been defined by a very small group of people for me. I now understand that it is those people you call family who will truly always be there, through all of your adventures and new friends. Do not underestimate the wonderful feeling of “home.”
Colleen Clark is senior majoring in Illustration who enjoys looking at photos of dogs online, following NBC comedy series (specifically anything involving Tina Fey), and sharing her art and thoughts through her online blog.
The Life at CCAD blog brings prospective students and their families into ongoing conversation with CCAD students, admissions counselors, and financial aid staff—including occasional visits from other members of the CCAD family.