Trying to describe Maryland is similar to trying to describe a color; you know the vibrance and the warmth it brings yet no group of words could ever perfectly describe it. I lived within arms reach of Washington, D.C. and didn’t notice what a privilege this was until I went to Penn State. During my freshman year I had managed to be three different individuals' "first black friend." In Maryland, I was constantly surrounded by such diverse people, opinions, food, music, and style. This certainly wasn't the case for some of my peers from the rural areas of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Although LA has greeted me with opened arms, nothing will ever compare to the comfort of being home. I bought a last minute plane ticket home for Labor Day weekend because of how homesick I was. As I continue to adjust to this new city, it’s hard to not be concerned with the well being of your family that is exactly 2,678 miles away.
A flood of nostalgia comes over me when I walk through the door. I can detail a vivid memory in each room as I re-familiarize myself with what has always served as my personal safe haven: the family room where my entire family gathers during Christmas for karaoke, the sunroom where I practice my pirouettes and toe touches, and the dining room that holds all of my favorite Sunday brunches. It was comforting to see that everything remained the same as when I left it in May but something was different and I couldn’t put my finger on it.
Despite having an amazing weekend filled with family, friends, and my grandma's lasagna, something still felt off. It wasn’t until I was packing to return to LA when it hit me: Maryland has nothing to offer me anymore. The majority of my dressers are emptied and the only thing that really occupies my room are my belongings from college. I felt more like a visitor than an actual resident in my own home. In college, your identity is largely tied to your class standing and hometown. I am at a new chapter in my life that no longer requires me to be so attached to Maryland. Although Maryland has definitely shaped who I am, it is not the only defining factor of my identity.
Being home made me notice that life isn’t moving as quickly as I thought and if I ever feel like it is, my family and home will always be there to welcome me in its warm embrace.
This week’s playlist is composed of all DMV artists and a few songs from a genre that originated in D.C. called go-go. People say it’s a dying genre but I jih like disagree. On muvas it’s not going anywhere.