I'LL ALWAYS COME BACK TO YOU
Kelsey Lamb, California Resident
I’m writing this to you from 10,000 feet up, with the city disappearing behind me, on a flight back out to California after some much needed time at home. Yes – home. I still call you that, even though the past ten years my “home” has been anywhere but.
After graduating from HSE High School in my hometown of Fishers, it’s no secret that I’ve spent the majority of my time away. For a while I went south – I embraced Louisville, KY as a home away from home while I was a student-athlete playing basketball at Bellarmine University (Go Knights!), and experienced the southern version of “race day” by attending a few Kentucky Derbys. I kept going south to Chapel Hill, NC for graduate school, and while I am admittedly a huge fan of Tar Heel basketball (hey… at least it’s not Duke) I can confidently say that I spared no opportunity to explain to anyone that would listen that “basketball is just better in Indiana.” Finally about a year ago, I flipped coasts and moved from NC to San Diego, CA – effectively trading in winter for a surfboard and the Cali sun. And while I wouldn’t change any of my decisions along the way and am grateful for the path that my life has taken, you never fail to remind me – in so many ways – why I keep coming back home to you.
For one, I am absolutely rooted here. So much of my family resides across the greater Indy area, and since I’m lucky enough to be so close to so many of them it’s hard to resist coming back for big family events – and we’re pretty good at those. The past five years in particular have included quite a few of them, specifically on Saturdays, where we migrate up to Muncie to watch Ball State football. We’re all pretty big fans of their head coach – who I just call Uncle Mike. Pacers games, nights out in Broadripple, and concerts at Klipsch/Ruoff/[whatever the current name is] have also been highlights of my time spent with this crew (pre-Covid, of course). If home truly is where the heart is, mine is firmly planted wherever my giant, loud, obnoxious family is – and that will always be here in Indy.
Numerous friends also keep me coming back, and give me the opportunity to see snapshots of your constant evolution through each trip. Exploring the budding brewery scene, finding new restaurants throughout downtown and Broadripple, and even watching my hometown of Fishers undergo a complete transformation from small town to thriving city always leaves me in awe at your growth – you just keep getting better every time. But there are the more familiar pleasures too… I’m lucky enough to say that my four best friends are ones that I gained through high school basketball, and it’s not uncommon that you’ll find a few of us at an HSE Lady Royals basketball game when we can make one.
Beyond the more personal bits, there are just too many things that you have to offer that are undeniably “Indy”. I can’t help but smile every time I’m on a flight home and I catch a view of Lucas Oil Stadium, the IMS, or sometimes even Monument Circle on the descent into IND. I wonder if the people also peering out the window know that there’s no better time and place than a fall Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium with the roof open, have been to the Circle of Lights to kick off the Christmas season, eaten a Kilroy’s breadstick, or had their brain exploded by St. Elmo’s shrimp cocktail sauce. I relish the opportunities that I get to recommend places around town to people that are visiting, and to be honest, I don’t know that I would have as much of an appreciation for those things or be so excited to share them if I hadn’t spent this much time away from you.
All in all, I guess what I’m trying to say is that you will always be incredibly special to me. You’re home to so many people and places that I love, and with the sense of familiarity that I get just by touching down at IND I know that you’ll always be my “home” also, even if it’s not by address.
Just know that no matter how far away I go, I will always, always come back. Even though “coming home” has only meant temporarily for the past ten years, there’s no guarantee that someday it won’t be for good. Who knows – I might not be able to stay away forever.