Reflections: You can always go home a true sentiment

The old saying "you can always go home" is true.

I should know. I’ve been away for eight years (12 if you count college). And now, after nearly a decade of being away, I’m back home in Columbus with my family and started a new position last week as editor of the Eastside Messenger.

I’m no stranger to Ohio. I have Buckeye blood in me, growing up in Hilliard and going to school for journalism, albeit Ohio University. But there isn’t a fall Saturday afternoon (or occasional evening) that you won’t find me in front of the TV, either watching or checking the score of that day’s Ohio State football game.

But as I grew up here, I always wondered what else was out there and whether I was missing anything.

After four years at OU, I packed my stuff up in a U-Haul and set my sights on the East Coast.

One place led to another, and eight years flew by. In that time, I worked at a handful of different newspapers and lived a bunch of different places – everywhere from Virginia to just outside Chicago – but nowhere did it ever quite feel like home.

Here’s the part where most would segue into how they feel at home again now that they’re back in Ohio.

I’m not going to lie.

I don’t know if I quite feel at home yet here. So much has changed in the last eight years.

Farm fields have turned into housing developments. Now when I ask who Hilliard, Dublin or Pickerington is playing this weekend, I have to specify which high school in that community, because several now have two or even three high schools.

The old Ohio Penitentiary is now the thriving Arena District, and you don’t have to drive to Pittsburgh or Detroit anymore to see a NHL hockey game.

But I’m not just talking about sites.

Other things have changed as well.

My family, all of whom live in the Columbus area except for my sister, who lives in Indianapolis, has expanded exponentially. There are so many kids running around, I’m not sure who belongs to whom.

Everyone’s aged eight years, of course, but you don’t really notice until you look at old family photographs and see a little less gray hair and fewer wrinkles, including on yourself.

And then there’s everything that’s changed in your life. When I left eight years ago, I was single, adventurous and ready to take on the world to make it a better place. Now, I have a wonderful fiance, feel a little more settled and want to make the world a better place – but more so for the children I hope to have someday.

Many things have remained the same, however. My favorite book store in German Village is still there, my grandma’s butterscotch pie is still just as tasty and I’ve come to discover in the short time I’ve been here that it’s still never too early in the year to start talking about the Buckeyes.

Maybe it is starting to feel more like home after all.

I hope to meet many of you, and hope through my columns and interactions with you, you can get to know me better – not just as a journalist, but as someone who enjoys knowing more about the community in which she lives and works, someone who loves to shop for antiques, someone who adores animals (I have a greyhound who likes cat food and a pleasantly plump cat who likes dog food), and someone who is excited to begin her life here … at home.

Christine Bryant is editor of the Eastside Messenger.

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