I am from my carefree suburban childhood,
from nine hour drives over the flat, green Midwest.
I am from my backyard,
where I could be a pirate on the high seas or a princess in her castle.
I am from the ragged, purple baby blanket my grandma made.
I’m from a crisp Autumn day when the leaves burst with colors,
from the earthy smell of rain in the air.
I’m from feeling the sun on my face on a winter’s day.
I’m from a summer evening, eating a melting ice cream cone with my dad.
I am from the tranquility of the library,
from it’s dusty books and worn pages.
I am from the world map stuck with pins for the exotic destinations I want to see,
and the shoebox stuffed with college brochures under my bed.
I smile when I think of the future, yet feel melancholy to leave behind my childhood.
I’m from raucous cheers underneath the lights on Friday nights,
from clammy school dances with dates who don’t speak and roaring laughter at birthday parties.
I’m from muddy cleats tossed haphazardly in the back hall and practicing even in the pouring rain.
I’m from my dad’s coaching, “it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.”
I am from saying goodbye to my mom as she heads into surgery,
afraid of the things I can’t control.
I am from centering myself with the love of family and friends when my world seemed like it was falling apart.
I am from choosing to stay positive and keeping the faith.
I’m going into the future, to college and a career,
going to learn that there are things I still don’t know.
I’m going to make a name for myself and travel the world.
I’m going off on an adventure, but I’ll never forget where I’m from.