Home Sweet Home
|Image courtesy of visitomaha.com|
I've lived in Omaha for seventeen, almost eighteen, years now, which is longer than I've ever lived anywhere else in my entire life. It's hard to believe this as I look back on my life, yet it's undeniably true. I arrived in the Metro area in January of 2003, a single mom of a young, three-year-old son. Between then and now, so much has changed - not just in my life but in the city I call home as well.
An entire life has evolved over these years. I got married and divorced here. I gave birth to my second child here. I've worked several jobs here before finding my home at the University of Omaha. I've joined and quit organizations. I've met tons of people, many of who've become my best friends, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, bosses, collaborators, and mentors. I've put my kids through one of the school systems here, becoming a permanent part of its fabric.
I've explored most of the nooks and crannies of this city and most of the surrounding area. I've learned of its history through an access cable channel, through local museums, tours of historic places, and lots of research either on the internet or through writings.
I've become regulars at various gas stations, department stores, grocery stores, bars, restaurants, and a handful of cultural buildings. I've familiarized myself with every nature center in the metro and have explored the uniqueness of the suburbs.
I've watched neighborhoods change, highways and byways being built, new buildings dottings the landscape, barren areas turned into vibrant areas filled with shops, entertainment, parks, and condos. I've watched festivals come and go, the complete overhaul of the downtown area, and the steadfastness of icons.
I've attended more events than I can count, witnessing the best that the city and its people have to offer. I became a vegan here, I lost a lot of weight here, and I've watched my children turn into adults. I've lived in three different places. I've never bought a home but I rented a home in the heart of the city for 10.5 years that became our family home anyway.
I've cried, laughed, felt hopeless, euphoric, and ecstatic. I've grown and changed from a young woman unsure of herself, into a wiser and older woman who knows where she is going. I've learned so much about life, relationships, and the world in general.
This city has been a springboard for me as I learned to travel and explore my country and others. Still, when I think about home, nothing else comes to mind but this city, and I am comfortable here. Someday, another city will become my home, but until then...
Omaha, oh, Omaha, you're Homaha to me.