So it's been pointed out to me that some of my grammar/spelling was off in my "Tammy and Sammy" posts, and for this I wish to apologize. I turned the story in as a draft for a final portfolio, so I didn't go over it with a fine-tooth comb like I did with "Thin Red Lines" (which was for an application). I copy-pasted it from my original Word document and should have read over it.
If you haven't already gathered, I'm not that great with spelling (thank the Lord for spell check) or grammar for that matter, especially in my fiction. I'm assuming the reason for this is that when I read out my story to myself, I automatically correct any errors in my head and thus do not notice them on the paper; this never seems to happen for me in any academic papers, however. Alas, this is a poor excuse that I highly doubt will work on agents, publishers, and if I have an editor someday, he or she will hate me with a passion.
I need to better my grammar skills specifically, since my spelling is fine if I simply slow down and think before I type (much like I should think before I speak...), but with the grammar I only seem to miss it in my own work. Reading other students essays or stories written by peers/friends, I pick up on the grammatical mistakes instantly, though not to the extent of the "Grammar Nazi" English teacher I had freshman year of high school. I wish I was a grammar wiz and that spelling came easily for me. How can I possibly consider a career in the literary world if I cannot grasp basic fundamentals of the written language?
Anyways, enough about my pathetic pity party. <--Yeah for alliteration!
I'm sitting here in my kitchen, all alone since two of my flatmates are on a Geology field trip and the other is in London, surrounded by nail polish, scraps of paper (some fiction work, some school work), and a half empty mug of tea. There's this interesting manifestation of my life on either side of my computer screen right now. To my left, my Eurail pass, timetable, map, and my Japanese Philosophy notebook (mental note: don't forget the paper is due tomorrow at 2!). To my right, a stack of belated birthday cards from my sorority sisters and my best friend Michelle and her mom, "Mommy Rohrbacher." My two lives on either side, one I dread leaving and the other I miss more than words could ever express.
I do miss America, the Midwest, WiscAnsin (not WisConsin, people!), gangsta Iowa City (random note: spell check just recognized "gangsta" as a word), my best friend/sister Stephie, and all of my family members. I wish I could be there for my step sister's big play this weekend in which she has the lead role. I wish I could--crazy statement warning--be there to see my brother and step brother's soccer games. I wish I could see how well my younger step brother is excelling in school and the confidence I feel radiate from him when I see his face on Skype. I wish I could talk more to my youngest step sister and all the crazy, hilarious things she says. I wish I could go shopping and get my toes done with my step mom. I wish I could laugh with my dad and make random pop culture references. I wish I could be there as my sister finishes up her senior year of high school.
Home is a strange word to me, because when I think of home, I think of my physical house in the Milwaukee suburb of Whitefish Bay where I've lived since my first year of middle school, though I've always lived in Whitefish Bay. But is that house my home, or is it Whitefish Bay? Whitefish Bay hasn't been my home since I left the school district and went to the all-girls high school, Divine Savior Holy Angels, or since I stopped working in the local Hallmark store when I left for college. Milwaukee feels like my home, but the city doesn't hold that much weight for me beyond some landmarks like Brewers stadium and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Wisconsin is definitely my home, but that's a rather large place to call "home." Is Iowa City my home? I don't think so; I know I won't be living in Iowa City after I graduate in a couple years. My physical house hasn't been my home since I graduated from high school and left for University of Iowa. Iowa City stopped being my home when I packed up and left for here: Cork, Ireland.
Maybe home is where I am, but that sounds egotistical. Home is where my family is? Well, my sister is going off to college in the fall and I'm already in college, and in only two years my brother and step brother will follow suit. Home cannot be that many locations...can it? It's so much easier when you're a kid; you know where you belong and where you feel comfortable and safe. I'm starting to think that that's what home is. I felt strange living in my house this past summer because my house was no longer my home; I felt like a guest overstaying my welcome. Hopefully, I won't feel as awkward this summer since I'm used to that feeling already.
My home is wherever I have friends who love and care about me, and right now that's Cork. In the fall, it'll be Iowa City. This summer, it'll be good ole Whitefish Bay, WI. My family no longer defines home for me since my mom died, because it made me realize how impermanent family is. They are the people you love more than anything in the world, yet they can be ripped right out from underneath your feet. Friends come and go, but they are a stable source even if they're constantly changing. I haven't outgrown my family--I don't think I could ever do that--but my home is now being defined by other standards.
So, I'm home now, I'm going home in a couple months, and will then get excited to go back home in August. Home follows me and my heart; as long as I'm open to it, I hope to make any place my home.