My hometown. November 22. The leaves are off most of the trees now. Things around the city are always slightly different every time I come back. Grand Rapids is a city that’s growing and the things I enjoy the most - graffiti, old buildings, and the charm of things that are a little less than perfect - keep getting harder to find. But that sense of familiarity you get when you visit the place you grew up is there no matter what. And I love Grand Rapids, I really do. There's something reassuring about being back in your hometown. It feels grounding. It takes me back to all the uncertainty and loneliness I felt growing up and even though I'm still growing up, looking back feels good. Things start to make sense in hindsight.
(my friend, Valeria)
I spent a lot of time in high school driving around the city and this is something I continue to do any time I’m home. Sometimes it’s driving in search of things to photograph, sometimes it’s just to enjoy the freedom of being in a car. Being able to go for a drive to clear my head is something I miss when I’m in Chicago. There’s something about being out of a big city for a bit, something about remembering what it’s like to be able to drive down a winding road at night and not see much other than trees and fields. It's something that's always helped me feel less anxious.
It's funny, what changes and what stays the same as life goes on. Moving away gave me this weird feeling of being in two places at once. I'm home with my family and all the familiarity of the place I grew up but I'm also in Chicago attempting to figure out who I am and what I'm going to do with my life. But it's change and it's good and just like the time I spent in Grand Rapids makes more sense looking back, so will the experiences I'm living right now.