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Home Sweet Home

Did you know that the definition of home is "the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household"? I guess that's why my heart still feels so attached to Maryland...I'm part of a family who loves & nurtures me & all that I am.

I'm growing into California in the best way possible--I'm meeting new people, adventuring, creating memories, & fulfilling my goals. But, the largest piece of me will always be attached to the state known for its crabs...Maryland.

This is my home.

To be honest, I don't know what I want to tell y'all about in this post. I want to tell you how much I love being home, but how I find coming back equally as stressful. I say stressful because though I'm not physically here always, people are, & lives & time continue to move forward despite my absence. I didn't go out of state for school, but I equate my feeling for coming home to the feeling people feel during a holiday or summer break. it's just different. Sure, the people are the same, the environment is the same, the atmosphere is the same, but it some how just doesn't feel 100% the same. And writing that sentence & reading it back should make me feel sorta sad, but truthfully, it makes me smile.

It's good.

Because growth is happening.

Just as I am growing in my own & 3,000 miles from here, here is also growing & my people here are growing, too. & that's good. It's GREAT. & the "stress" I feel is really just me trying to adapt in theses spaces. See, the older I get, the more I realize that life doesn't stop for anyone or anything. It just progresses & demands that those inhabiting its space move along with it. So, I cannot expect Maryland to remain how I left it--time has passed & growth has occurred.

But, what I do know is that Maryland is my forever home. It is the home that shaped me, molded me, loved me, nurtured me, & forced me to grow. I moved to California on July 5, 2018 not necessarily because I felt ready, but because I felt Baltimore was telling me to leave & forcing me to continue in my growth. It was telling me that though I will always have a place to come back to here, I have to get out there & find another place to call home. Because, despite the dictionary's definition of home, I believe that home is where the heart is.

& mine is within me, but also in the palms of many individuals within the 12,407 mi² of Maryland.

No one's home is perfect. No one's trip going back to lands they once inhabited ends perfectly. But, it's in those imperfect moments that we complain & rant about to friends that we remind ourselves

this is my life. these are my people. & I cannot imagine it any other way.

May your day be ever filled with love, light, and of course, an abundance of chicken tenders💜🌻✨

Cheyenne Pajardo

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