Leaving Home

image description Photo Credit: Todd Ellingburg

When you leave home—perhaps for college, or to move out and start your first real job— whether you are living with roommates, friends, or extended family members, the feelings of excitement, nervousness, or possibly apprehension can be strong. At first, it can seem like an adventure, but soon, you may begin to miss your mom’s homemade soup, the way your grandma sings under her breath, even your sometimes-annoying little brother, and his hijinks.

Moving out is an important step in becoming an adult, as hard as it may be. You learn things like how to take care of yourself, pay your own bills, and you mature into a more developed person. You study. You drink coffee. You learn coping mechanisms, ways to make yourself feel calmed down, how to motivate yourself to do what you need to do, how to love and care for others in the process of loving and caring for yourself.

A bird, when it leaves the nest, may miss the nestling of its mother’s wings. But soon, that bird makes a nest for itself, creatively building it from nothing, layering twig upon twig, lining it with soft bits of moss. It is in this home that this bird will start its own little family, continuing the circle. Walking a good path.

Special Thanks: Misty Lynn Ellingburg (Shoalwater Bay) is a student at Seattle Pacific University, majoring in English (concentration Literature) and minoring in Professional Writing. She has two brothers and two sisters--Brandt, Shana, Hope, and Hunter. Her mom, Lory, is a Tribal artist, and her dad, Todd, is becoming fluent in Salish, a local Tribal language. Her favorite Native writers are Leslie Marmon Silko, Louise Erdrich, and Sherman Alexie. She even met Mr. Alexie in Seattle at a book reading where she got his autograph and a picture taken together.

Dear Auntie, Can I enroll with the tribe without my father's permission?

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