"This thesis will explore my relationship with West Virginia, my home state, and how I have continuously wrestled with the bittersweet feelings that come with it. After leaving my small town as soon as I could, and through that act of leaving, my relationship to West Virginia transformed. It is a change that these essays seek to uncover. Over the course of this thesis, I discuss my childhood memories of West Virginia and how those have shaped me as an adult. In addition, I examine some of my family members and their ties to the Mountain State, all while trying to make sense of what it means to be 'West Virginian.' Most of all, this thesis establishes 'home' as something you can’t escape, but more importantly, as something that should always be taken with you—even if it’s against your will."