Hall: There's no place like home

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

For generations, The Wizard of Oz has been a special film in the hearts of little girls all around the world. I was no exception here.
I watched my family’s worn-out taped version repeatedly, singing along with Dorothy and lighting up when she entered the suddenly technicolor world of Oz. I laughed and cried with her as she journeyed along the yellow-brick road. There’s no doubt: I wanted to be Dorothy Gale.
I never expected that now, more than a decade later, I would relate to Dorothy more than ever before.
My move to college was the first time I ever lived on my own. It was time to learn to take care of myself.
On an afternoon drive meant to familiarize myself with my new city, I quickly became hopelessly lost. It was then I knew: I wasn’t in Salisbury anymore.
But in college, I still viewed the place where I grew up as “home,” while my new campus was just a quick four-year vacation. Now it seems time for me to find my own place in the world.
There’s no place like home, and it’s time for me to find mine.
First, I have to decide what “home” really is. I’ve grown out of living with my parents, but I’m not exactly ready to start a family of my own. Like so many young people, I’m stuck in between. It’s unfamiliar territory. Now I really know how Dorothy felt upon entering Oz.
So where do I go from here? I want to stay close to my friends and family, but that rainbow in the sky certainly looks tempting. I’m currently being swept away by a great big tornado called “unemployment,” and my journey along the yellow-brick road is due to start any time now.
The thing about being stuck “in between” is that you’re not really allowed to have your new home until you figure out where you belong and start to establish yourself there.
There are many things to learn, like how the world is full of lions, tigers and bears (oh my!) and that some people without brains do an awful lot of talking.
I know that jobs may land me in several cities before I find the place that’s right for me. Even when the clouds are far behind me and the dreams that I’ve dared to dream are really coming true, I will still have to build up my new home brick by brick, and not without building a storm shelter first, because it’s impossible to predict when a twister will come and smash everything to the ground.
Only after your journey through the in-between will you be able to look at your old home with new eyes and build from there. So my advice is to skip along for however long you need to, but watch out for evil flying monkeys and sleep-inducing poppies. And if you ever forget what home should look like, don’t ever just hide away with some crazy man in his emerald city. Just click your heels together and take a look at where you came from.
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Contact Abigail Hall at mailabigail@gmail.com.