chapter ten

You guys. Being home is the best. I don’t want to leave!!!

While I love California, I’m talking about where I grew up: Arlington, Texas.

Don’t get me wrong, I love LA and have finally found peace and comfort there. I love my friends and loved ones that are the embodiment of home to me all around the world. But there’s nothing more comforting than walking in to your childhood home and crawling in to your old bed. And my mom has kept it exactly the same! I always look up at the glow-in-the-dark stars that have been on the ceiling for years and immediately feel at peace as if I’ve been transported back to a different time. An easier time.

I get that same kind of feeling when I’m sick on the road. You know, when you’re so weak you wish the person that had taken care of you when you were little was there to at least bring you the comfort of their company?

I love familiarity. In my hectic life where I sometimes don’t even know where I’m supposed to be next week, in a life where I cannot make any real plans, I cherish the small moments I get where I can be me, where I can come back to the values and people that I prize.

And I seriously love Texas, you guys. I have major state pride.

I mean there are a lot of great things to love about the Lonestar state besides just having family there. Queso. Sno cones. Tex-mex. (Okay yeah, that’s only food so far…I do love it for other reasons, promise).

I always get excited on tour when we start getting closer and closer to Texas. I geek out over the familiar food chains or the open grassy fields that you can’t find in hectic LA. This was home. This was a place I maybe didn’t appreciate as much when I was actually there, but I cherish more than ever now.

I feel like every band on tour had some connection to Texas as well, so the dynamic was anxious and excited to return home! Our first stop was Austin, TX!

I really like Austin. Having gone to Oklahoma University (BOOOOOOOOOMERRRRR) I never cared to spend much time in my rival city, but I think it’s the perfect combination of that Southern suburban feel mixed with lively city life. And it’s been growing exponentially every day! I could see myself coming back and living in Austin… 


This time I got to spend time with some sorority friends from college. I’m so thankful that our friendships can remain intact and honestly even stronger now that we’ve grown older and (hopefully) wiser.

I only spent a year in college because of Pentatonix and while that’s kind of cool I guess, it also always makes me a little sad.

You hear from everyone (and I see online in my daily Facebook creeping escapades) that you make your lifelong friends in college. I see friends getting engaged/married and know that all the happy faces next to them are friends they’ve grown together with in college. I mean, yeah, I would be close to college friends too if I survived a semester of Trig with them…or whatever hard class, I was just a Musical Theatre major, haha!!

But that’s what’s been great…I have kept in contact with a few college friends and I feel like we relate to each other even better now. I have many high school friends that have remained amazing friends for almost ten years now!

And I saw many of them at the next Texas show, the “hometown” show in Dallas!! I snuck out of the dressing room during Kelly’s set to go watch in the audience with my mom and friends and it was SO fun! I was screaming and singing along, crying during “Piece by Piece” since Kelly was singing it where it all happened and was extra emotional.

And I had a moment in the audience there, next to my mom and friends that have lifted me up and inspired me for years through all life’s up and downs. My mom said this was the venue where we’d seen Kelly all those years ago, my first concert ever. And here we all were now, watching her shine again.

I saw more family and friends that night as well! My friend Hayley even asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding!!! AHHHHH! I’ll be crying, of course…

The next day was an off day so I spent it with more family. I had lunch with my Dad and grandparents then went over to my Nana and Pa’s to hang for the rest of the day with my mom.

Sometimes it feels so right, being there as if I’d just come over on any normal weekend to go visit. The thought of leaving seems so foreign to me when I am so happy being with them.

I think I maybe forget about my real life sometimes, in the moments I have in Texas or however many days we ever get off in LA not traveling. I pretend I do something else, something that doesn’t take me away. Sometimes I wish I could slip in to an alternate time dimension and stay forever.

I carry small reminders with me always. I fill my bunk with memories and pictures of the people I wish I could see more.

But it’s sad. It’s always sad to leave home, especially Texas. I don’t get to be there as often so am constantly missing out and not being there for my family and loved ones.

But I am happy and blessed to know that I am loved and thought about from miles away and however many passing increments of time. I am supported. And I guess with all that’s going on, that’s all I could ever ask for.

In Houston the day after I hung out with some high school friends as well and we reminisced on all our crazy, hilarious times together with other peers, jumping in to the conversation as if we had just had the crazy hangout yesterday!

And I reminded myself to be so incredibly thankful that I have a job that allows me to catch up with all these people that were in different walks of my life. I love seeing them grow up and into themselves. I love seeing my family proud of my accomplishments, even if it takes me away more than we all like.

There’s a balance I’ve learned. I get comfortable way too easily. I get complacent with my surroundings and stick to what’s easy at times.

But I have grown so much and will continue to do so in this environment that pushes and pulls me. It’s not always the easiest, but I wouldn’t have come as far without it. I need the challenge. I love the challenge, too.

I can always go home. I can always stop. The people there won’t stop caring about me.

But this is the moment. Not to be afraid. To find myself. To stretch myself and take risks. To live out whatever dreams I ever had and make even more.

And while I constantly miss home and looking up at my stars, I know I can look up at the sky on a lonely night and someone will be thinking of me too.

And they know I’ll come home to them as soon as I can.





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