Never forget where you came from and where you got your start.

Dan Hicks
3 min readJul 5, 2020
Photo by Dan Dimmock on Unsplash

I’ll never forget my freshman year of college at a small state school in Pennsylvania.

I was so homesick that I came back the weekend after my first week of classes. I didn’t like the school environment, nor my classes. I was in a major that I thought I wanted to do that I practically had to force myself to love. Quickly the experience soured for me.

I hardly did the things that I enjoyed, such as learning, writing, or training at the gym. I didn’t know where my life was headed, so I looked to those around me for guidance. Bad idea.

I cared less about doing things for myself and more about doing them for others. I started partying, heavily. As a result, I gained copious amounts of weight, and lost even more confidence in myself. At my heaviest, I was 308 pounds.

It wasn’t until I came back home in the spring, right around my birthday. I had come home for the weekend, which had become less regular (homesickness doesn’t hit as hard on the weekends when it becomes the only thing you live for), and something inside me clicked.

I had lost touch with where I came from.

fPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

That particular weekend I was competing in an Olympic weightlifting meet. I weighed in, at my heaviest, almost in awe at the number on the screen. I lifted an unimpressive total. However, this meet was at the gym where I had cut my teeth in my highschool years, training for swimming and track. Breaking a sweat on that hallowed ground and coming back to the home I grew up in filled me with more satisfaction than I had felt in the previous few months combined. I felt like I finally filled the hole within me that I had been trying to fill with drugs and alcohol.

Coming home jerked me back into reality. I had realigned with my north star. I had only allowed myself to feel shitty about missing the comfort of home when I should have been expressing my gratitude for the blessing of having a home to miss in the first place.

Over the coming years, when I would feel that emptiness (because let’s be real — it doesn’t just go…

Dan Hicks

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