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Hasta manana... always be mine.

Well, here I am, sitting in one of multiple computer labs on campus at the Illinois Institute of Technology. It's something I've been thinking about for a while, now, so I figured I'd put it in writing.

Ever do something that makes you feel terrible for whatever reason? I'm not talking about guilt for putting a spider in your sister's hair (what brother feels that?). I mean something that makes you step back and take a long look at your life and the direction it's headed.

A couple weeks ago, I did just that. I officially moved up to Chicago and entered Illinois Institute of Technology, or IIT for short. The process of moving doesn't bring up too many new feelings, but it drudges up the feelings I've been trying to repress all summer.

I'm 360 miles away from home, more or less. I'm far enough that I can come home any time I have to, but coming home on weekends is impractical, to say the least. I'm actually going home for the Labor Day weekend (going home for Labor Day? Talk about homesick!), which is what forces all these emotions to resurface.

All summer, especially the weeks before I left, I felt regretful. I felt like everything I'd done for the past 18 years was about to be left behind, incomplete. Everything became a lot more serious; had I taken it all for granted? While I wish the answer was 'no', I have to cough up the answer, 'yes.'" Everything I did, every second I spent with my friends and family, I took for granted. I knew I'd see my friends in a couple of days or my family, well, constantly.

Don't get me wrong, I like living up here on my own (more or less). I decide for myself what I want to do day in and day out.

Call me sentimental, but home is where the heart is. And right now, I'm not home. I'm in a place. Over time, I'm sure this will become like a home, but it could never be the home I left behind.

I'd like to take a second and apologize to everyone I left. Not for leaving, but rather for not appreciating your company when I had it. I'll see you this Labor Day weekend, I hope. If not, I'll catch you around Thanksgiving.

Of course, you can never go home again. Everything changes. But I still want to go home as often as possible... that's why, when I joined the fraternity up here, it almost ripped out my heart when they said I had to come back a week early from winter break. In the grand scheme of things, a week is nothing. But the heart doesn't work on the grand scheme. It's the little things that make us who we are, and I want to have every second I can with my friends before, indeed, everything changes. I know my visits back will be less and less frequent until they're only a few times a year. So, on the larger scale, I'll have spent only a fifth of my life with those I've grown up with. Sure, I'll make new friends, and I'll never lose touch with the old ones, but it can never be the same again.

But I'm sure I made the right choice. As I always say, "What I want and what I need aren't the same things."

I'm going to leave you with some lyrics from the Spice Girls. I know that most of you (if not all) are anti-SG but the quote fits. It's a song I listened to a *lot* before I left, titled "Goodbye"

The times we always played about

the way we used to scream and shout

we never dreamt you'd go your own sweet way...

Look for the rainbow in every storm

Find out for certain love's gonna be there for you

You'll always be someone's baby...

Goodbye, my friends (I know you're gone you said you're gone but I can still feel you here)

It's not the end (gotta keep it strong before the pain turns into fear)