I've been feeling off today. A little homesick, one might say. You know, I never thought I'd say it but I miss the South. I miss the food and the sweet iced tea, the southern hospitality and the people we'd talk to at church on Sunday mornings. I even miss the (and I really never thought I'd say this) charming southern accent I've grown so used to hearing. When we first moved to North Carolina, the accent really bothered me but now I think of the sweet 'southern belle' old ladies with their accents asking how school is and repeatedly commenting about how grown up I've become and yada-yada-yada. There's a whole culture in the South apart from the country song, pickup truck, lax bro stereotype that I miss. There's an old charm to the South, something you can't find anywhere else. Sitting on the porch in the hot, sticky summer heat while the humidity makes it feel at least ten degrees hotter, just trying to catch a cool breeze; saying hello to everyone (and that's not an exaggeration) you see; true southern manners and etiquette; dresses and bowties at every event; and a lot more that defines the South in its traditions and yes, stereotypes.
While I love the life I have here in Germany and I'm glad I got to experience it as a young adult as opposed to growing up here as a young child, there are aspects that I have grown to love about the South that are missing in my life right now. I think I will always hold a special place in my heart for the country I spent my childhood in, but I also hold dear the life I lead in America. I used to think my "home" was Germany because I have lived over half of my life here, but I think this year has taught me that home is where the heart is and home is where the family is. I wouldn't dream of saying I don't want to be in Germany because I do, don't get me wrong. However, I think that it is a chapter in my life that will be closing in June. I think coming back here was important for me because when we left, I thought we would be coming back after a year and then we just didn't. I always had the question in the back of my mind "What if?" and I don't have that question anymore. I appreciate the past few months here and look forward to the next 3 (and I don't doubt they will go by incredibly fast) because I have learned more about myself than I ever would have, had I spent the year back home in Greensboro, but I do look forward to being with my family and my best friends again this summer.