I've had a few friends lately struggling with their home lives. Whether it's their siblings or their parents or something else entirely, there can and almost inevitably will always be issues at home at one point or another. It's just the way life is. There is something my parents used to ask me when I acted up at home; they would say "Do you treat your friends that way, or your teachers at school?" The answer was always "Well, obviously not." Why is it that we feel we can treat the people closest to us like trash? It's not because we think we can get away with it. It's because we know that through it all, we can unleash all hell and no matter what they'll still be there; it's a pretty incredible feat.
I'm not the biggest fan of my home town. Lives of luxury are prominent, arrogance overpowers humility, and a materialistic world pressures the young and the old, whether it's the bag you're carrying, the store you got your clothes from, or the first car that your parents bought for you brand new from the Cadillac dealership on your 16th birthday. Think I'm kidding? Think again.
Needless to say, I humourously say I grew up in the "slums" of Colts Neck -- and by slums I mean a one story ranch in a town full of three story mansions. And you know what? I'm completely okay with that.
You see, this is the thing. Little old Colts Neck is the place where I grew up. That house is the place where I started my life, and holds an incredible number of memories. And though it has changed, been added onto, renovated, and gotten a little quieter since my sister moved out, it is still the place that I can most associate with home. Home in Colts Neck will always feel like, and more importantly be home. There is something great about knowing about the little things that are around in town, like the General Store that was around back when the main road running by my house was a dirt road. There is Huddy's where you can go to the bar and get a tall one after a round of golf (2 for 1 on Mondays!) and the little pizza joint that seems to have been there since the beginning of time.
There is something great about flying into Newark Airport, and, if the wind is right, seeing the Statue of Liberty out the side of the plane and the City in the distance. Now that I spend so much time away from Jersey, I think I've found a newfound appreciation for it. And no matter what issues are going on at home, or how little I want to see my superficial peers from high school, or what the reason is to come home, I always smile as I'm rolling off the highway and into town. Because like I said, Colts Neck will always be home.