An Open Letter to the Family I Left Behind

Dear Family I Left Behind,

Yes, I guess you could say that I am missing you right about now. I know we always joke about me missing you guys, but this feeling of longing for you guys, it’s real. The feeling comes and goes. It hits me at weird times. Like the times where little things I see around town and school remind me of you guys. You could be wondering why I am writing you a letter, instead of calling, but to me this seemed appropriate. This seemed like a place where I could get all my feelings out in one sitting and ensure that I had not missed anything that I really want to tell you all.

I wanted to also apologize. Apologize for wanting to leave town. Home was not a bad place; it still is not. I can understand that perhaps having me set on leaving that town for ages was hard and kind of hurt. How would I want to leave when I was constantly surrounded by support and familiarity? That’s a valid question. How would I mentally prepare myself to feel alone in a town where I literally knew nobody? I don’t know and I can say that my answer to that was that it took time.

I am sorry that I’m missing important dates. Birthdays anniversaries, and Prom. While I can’t fly home to experience all those things with you, just know that on those specific days, you won’t leave my mind.  Those days are important milestones and I couldn’t be prouder of the people you have become.On a side note I would also like to give a shout out to tech geniuses for inventing skype. It has made this whole long distance relationship easier.

I want you to realize that I left for me. Wanderlust, it is a real thing. Wanting to explore the world and knowing that there are so many great things out there pushed me out. While these things may not always be greater, I had to determine that for myself. I’ve always been stubborn. I just couldn’t take someone’s word on that.

I also wanted to say thank you. Thank you for not holding me back and telling me I could go. Being honest, if you had done that, I would have been so angry and hurt. Angry that you weren’t supporting me and hurt you didn’t trust me to be on my own. Thank you for telling me that if I wanted it, I had to figure it all out. I did and I had never wanted something so badly in my life until then. This allowed me to prove to myself that hard work does pay off.

Distance, it does make the heart grow fonder. While I may be 934 miles away, we have never been closer. Being on my own has allowed me to grow up. As much as I hate to admit it, it has shown me that you guys were right about a lot of things. Balanced diets, clean laundry, and managing expenses really do make a world of differences in your life.

Just know that this letter cannot express all of my feelings and gratitude I have toward you. I know it was difficult letting me leave.  Just know that I will forever be grateful to you for letting me leave. I love you guys forever and always.


The daughter who left.