First things first, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for wishing you away and for going six entire years without noticing how breathtaking you really are. From quaint and bustling Main Street to the quiet docks of Lake Galena, you just about have it all and I’m sorry that it took my leaving you for me to realize that.
I moved to you when I was 12 years old and to be completely honest, I didn’t like you very much at first. You were vastly different from the city I was used to — you had sounds I had never heard before and weird looking bugs and felt a million miles away from my family in the city. I didn’t like how quiet my bedroom was at night time — where was the traffic? The sirens? The distant chatter? I didn’t like that I couldn’t walk to Wawa for an ice cream or to Blockbuster on a Friday night. I didn’t like how I had to pick out an outfit for school everyday or that I had to ride the school bus. My new classmates didn’t talk the way I did and people gave me funny looks or asked me to repeat myself when I asked for a glass of “wooder.” I was a born and raised Philadelphian plucked from what she knew and thrown into you without much preparation — what was I supposed to do?
Then in middle school my friends invited me to something called First Friday. I wasn’t quite sure what it was but I had heard that it was the “cool thing” to do on the first Friday of every month so I tagged along. That was when I first realized how not-so-bad you are. Your streets were mobbed with townies and visitors walking up and down, in and out of shops. You had live Doylestown bands sprinkled on various corners drawing circles of crowds nodding their heads to the beat. Nat’s Pizza was overflowing with guests and kids from school surrounded the patio of your iconic Starbucks. You were pretty cool that night, almost like your own little city, and since then you’ve felt like home.
I went to high school at CB West, nestled right in your center, and it was then that I started realizing how lucky I am to live in such a cool place. East and South are great schools too, but West felt wholesome — from the white pillars, clock tower, and tree-lined sidewalks to good ole Memorial Field and the East/West rivalry. There was just something about West that felt homey and comfy, almost picture perfect.
Because of West’s location, I got to know your beautiful cultural and historical landmarks like the back of my hand. The Michener and Mercer museums were popular class trip spots and if I wanted cool pictures or an adventure I’d head straight to the Fonthill castle. No, I didn’t have the ability to walk over to Wawa whenever I wanted but who else can say that they grew up minutes away from a castle (or two if you consider Castle Park)?
By the time senior year rolled around, all that was on my mind was leaving. I was applying to college, getting accepted, and looking towards graduation. New beginnings and fresh starts were so close I could almost taste them and you started to feel smaller…claustrophobic, even. I couldn’t wait to make my escape. The days passed and as August came to a close my parents and I packed the car and headed 300 miles West to what would soon become my home away from home. My school is in the city of Pittsburgh so my bedroom isn’t quiet anymore, the traffic is constantly bustling, there’s always distant chatter. I love it, don’t get me wrong; I’m a city girl through and through but I find myself longing for you and each time I return home after a busy semester, leaving again gets harder and harder.
So, Doylestown, I’m lucky to have you. I know I haven’t always shown it, but I am. I’m so lucky to have a such a peaceful, quirky place to retreat back to when living out here in the big city gets tough. I’m sorry for all of the times I’ve told you I hated you — I don’t hate you at all. You have most definitely helped shape me into the open minded, creative being that I am and for that I will always be grateful.
I love you and I miss you a lot.