To my hometown with love

Emma Seely, Managing Editor

Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not from here. I’m from up North, the land of hot summers, cold winters, and leaves dropping in the fall. I’m from a place where seasons can change as quickly as tempers, especially if someone cuts someone else off in traffic or takes too long to order their coffee at Dunkin’ Doughnuts. I’m from just outside of Baltimore, specifically, but sometimes I feel like I’m from a totally different world. And as lonely as that can get, and as homesick as it makes me, I still wouldn’t trade this culture shock for anything. I love New Orleans with all of my heart, but I really love missing home.


On Sundays here, I wear Baltimore Ravens purple as I walk past large groups of people joyfully screaming “Who Dat!?” I feel kind of silly, like the only person in the room who isn’t in on the joke, but then I think back to the way I felt sitting in Ravens stadium over winter break. As I shivered in a true Northern winter and clapped my gloved hands, I did so surrounded by people who were rooting for the exact same thing, from the exact same team. I was literally surrounded by purple then, and believe me when I say that purple looked a whole lot brighter after months of black and gold. 


I get into discussions with friends and strangers alike about the differences between a true Maryland style crab cake and every other type of crab cake in the world. The condensed version of my stance is, essentially, Maryland-style crab cakes are the only ones worth eating, no matter what. This starts an argument, almost always, but I know I’m right. Because there’s nothing that could ever compare to a perfectly seasoned pile of lumpy crab fried up in the way only Maryland can do. I think about these perfect little morsels every day that I’m here. Then, when I finally make it back to Baltimore, my first stop is always to the little corner pub that does those crab cakes right. When I take my first bite, nothing in the world could be better. 


Missing Baltimore, it seems, is a physical thing I carry with me everywhere I go. It’s there for the good times and the bad, from the magical moments only New Orleans could give me, to those times when I feel like an outsider even alone in my apartment. It’s complicated to feel that way, but I always end up alright. Sure, it doesn’t feel good to be missing a huge aspect of my identity, the scene for the first 18 years of my life. But it does feel good to know there’s something I love enough to truly miss. 


Baltimore isn’t perfect, but our home towns never are. As beautiful and magnetic as Baltimore can be, what makes it truly special is the fact that it belongs to me, and I to it, in a way that New Orleans could never possibly imagine. I love it here, and I’m enjoying every second, but those 18 years I spent up North could never leave me, nor should they. 


It’s possible, and wonderful, to simultaneously be in love with multiple different places in vastly different ways. It can be complicated, and confusing, to feel as if you are being pulled in several different directions, but the fact of the matter is that’s just what being a person is about. We fall in love passionately and often, and we should. That’s what’s so great about being alive. 


So take a moment every once in a while to write yourself a little love letter to the places you come from.  


Baltimore, this one’s for you.