Finding my home

Abigail Todd, A&E Writer

Hugging my mom goodbye on a hot summer day in Little Rock, Arkansas was probably the hardest moment in my life. While driving away from my mom’s house, watching her from a rearview mirror getting smaller and smaller, an unsettling feeling of loss consumed me. What if I never saw her again? Maybe during holiday breaks, but that might be it. Nevertheless, I was headed to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in a car with my somber sister and optimistic father. With a new job for him, the promise of new friends and a chance to start over, a flood of feelings overcame me. I realized I wasn’t dreaming.

My first semester of junior year at Xavier was not easy. Every day I came home from school and my dad would ask me, “Make a friend today?” and I would lie and say yes, but in reality I was crying myself to sleep, missing my mom and my friends. It wasn’t until my first football game at Xavier did things start to get better. I went with a friend I met at lunch and she taught me all the cheers and introduced me to many friends I still have today. It was then I realized that things like making friends would take time and that I have to get out of my comfort zone just a little in order to do simple things like go to a football game.

After a few months had passed, I still had just a couple of good friends, but I was still wanting to go back home and then I got an email from Mrs. Ireland reminding me about the Kairos retreat I signed up for earlier in the year. I was dreading going on Kairos. “What if no one talks to me?” “What if I just end up alone again?” I laugh at those questions when I think about them now. Kairos 31 was the best decision I have ever made to date. I met one of my best friends on that retreat and someone very special to me as well. From then on, I knew I was going to be ok.

The last months of junior year consisted of late night drives with my friends, eating Pancheros for the first time (and loving it) and truly feeling like Cedar Rapids was finally welcoming me home; Senior year for me has proven that even more. From watching the boys battle their way to the UNI-Dome to writing for The Xpress, this year has brought me closer to the Class of 2019 in a way that I would have never expected. Home, I learned, is where you make it. With love, good times and great people, I will always call Xavier High School my home.