Rinckey: The heart is where my home is

Morgan Rinckey, IC Columnist

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I used to live in a 30-mile box. I rarely went north of Dundee or south of Maumee, and Sylvania is about as far west as I’ve driven on my own. Until last September, the world could have dropped off at the edge of Stickney Avenue, and I would never have known. I didn’t realize how closed off from the rest of the world I had been until I left.

I went to study abroad in Reading, England last September. It was exciting; it was my first time out of the country and my longest time away from home. I saw things that people spend their whole lives wishing they could see. I drank a pint in Ireland. I learned the definition of frescoes by witnessing the whisper of air between God and Adam’s fingers. I made a wish as I tossed a coin over my shoulder into the Trevi Fountain.

But I’m ashamed because I spent a lot of time wishing I was back in Toledo and right back to the 30-mile box I had trapped myself in. I even considered changing my ticket to come home earlier than I first decided.

I was living a dream, so who was I to feel sad? It didn’t make any sense to me. I was in the UK where my literary heroes wrote. I was in Bath, where Jane Austen lived and set two of her novels. I saw a plaster cast of Robert Burns’ skull. I was living in the town where Oscar Wilde went to prison (which is sad and terrible, but insane at the same time).

I felt ridiculous at the time for wishing to be back in Toledo, but Toledo was where my heart was. My heart was in the Glass City where my friends were continuing our weekly trivia game without me. Where my pregnant sister was and where my niece was eventually born. Where my dad was home alone, probably eating too much takeout. My heart was in Toledo.

I felt like I was missing out on so much by being away. But I was also missing out on seeing the world by trapping myself in yet another tiny box. I never ate my lunch in the cafeteria; I always brought it back to my room. I spent my evenings watching British Netflix by myself in my tiny dorm room. I made five new friends and called it quits after that. I was having fun, but my heart wasn’t in it.

A typical passenger airplane moves about 567 miles per hour, but a heart is much smaller and can’t fly, so it takes longer to catch up. It took awhile, but my heart gradually returned to me. Like a bottle tossed into Lake Erie, my heart eventually rode ashore. My friends and family weren’t going to move on without me; they would all be there when I got back. There’s nothing that should stop me from doing the things I want to do. My heart was back, and I was willing to do new things.

I was running out of time to go places. I took day trips by myself when I wasn’t in class to make up for the time I had lost. I flew to Edinburgh on a whim after a class on a Tuesday, and I flew back Wednesday night to be in class on Thursday. I rode a train by myself to Liverpool to stalk the Beatles. I chugged a butterbeer in London at the Harry Potter studio tour. It was amazing.

I’ve seen parts of the world, and now I want to see more. I need to see more. I’m no longer trapped in a 30-mile box. No, my heart destroyed that box as it made its way back to me. Now, wherever I am, my heart is too.

Morgan Rinckey is a fourth-year English and communication double major.


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Rinckey: The heart is where my home is