Leaving the Nest

When someone asks for my home address it feels weird giving them my Flagstaff zip code. And I would be lying if I said that it isn't hard for me to leave after a weekend at home. In the dictionary "home" is defined as: The place in which one's domestic affections are centered. It's no wonder leaving is so hard when even something as logical as the dictionary knows the truth; home is where your heart is. It is in those too-short weekends at home that I realize how much I used to take for granted.
I have a tight-knit family who would do anything for each other. We still have family dinner where we talk about our days and usually tell a joke or two that lead to me losing my appetite. But as dysfunctional as my family may be, we all know each other's struggles and know our limits when it comes to calling each other out on them.
My dad is the hardest working person I know and his never-give-up personality has inspired me to keep going time and time again. No matter the hard times, he is our rock.
My mom is the workhorse and the woman who has more strength than 10 men put together. Every day you get glimpses of her sheer willpower and realize that's she's capable of doing anything.
My brother is finding his way. As a sophomore in high school, he's learning to drive, to date and to pluck the ever-growing uni brow. He has become more responsible and cautious than me which, I'll be honest, can be a bit scary at times.
And don't even get me started on my dogs. They are my children and leaving them is the hardest thing. However, they do seem more excited to see me than my family is when I come home.
These three people really are the center of my world. They have taught me everything I know and I'm lucky to have realized just how important it is to create a bond with them.
When you're 17 years old, the only thought in your mind is, "God, I can't wait to leave the house." But once you leave, you'll see just how difficult it is to basically start your life over on your own. It may not be as dramatic as I am making it sound, but you'll see that being on your own, in an unfamiliar bed, won't be the best time of your life. If you're still in high school treasure the time you have remaining. Never again will you be so comfortable. You adjust, but right after you leave the comfort of the nest, all you'll want is your momma bird to shield you with her wings.