It’s been awhile since I’ve written a personal post and lately I’ve been thinking about where I came from and what it means to me. I grew up in a small town where everybody knew everybody and no one really ever left. I went to the same high school that my parents did and even though most of my friends left for college a lot of them came back. I however did not.
I left my hometown for college in the city when I was 21. I was dirt poor and eager to leave. Staying in the same place my entire life (a short 21 years…)made me crazy. It’s funny how as soon as you leave something your comfortable and familiar with you realize how much you miss it. That’s exactly what happened to me. I would visit home almost every weekend and would get depressed every time I left. This happened a lot!
After I met Judd I didn’t go home quite as much but I still missed having my family around. We would both talk about moving back one day maybe even after graduation. Unfortunately the area we grew up in isn’t really promising for finding jobs especially as a young adult. I mean most people retire where we grew up. I still felt that I wanted to move back and be closer to my family. It was familiar. It was comfortable. It was home. Or so I still thought…
Judd and I got married and got a dog slowly starting the process to build our own family and life in the city. We rarely visited home much with our work schedules and when we did it almost felt odd being back. It’s a strange feeling going back to something or somewhere that was once familiar but has now changed. After our 5 year anniversary of moving to Jaxx we visited our families back home for about a week. It was the longest trip we’ve had down here since we both left. Driving over the bridge to get to where my parents lived felt safe but the area seemed different. Driving around town there were new businesses and new places to eat. It had changed much like myself.
Suddenly it dawned on me. I was holding onto a moment, a memory of what this place used to be to me. When I left, I had this longing for disconnection with it. I wanted so badly to leave and move on with my life. I was a bit selfish but I needed to be in order to get my life moving in the right direction. I remember driving over the bridge away from the island on the way to my dorm room at college. I looked back in my rear view mirror and noticed the Vehicle Assembly Building out at Kennedy Space Center. I felt emotional. It was all I ever knew, my hometown. It would never be the same again.
I think it’s essential to leave where you grew up even if it’s for a few years. Stepping out of your comfort zone and into a new dynamic can force the wheels of change to start turning. If I hadn’t left my hometown I wouldn’t be where I am today. If I went back after college I wouldn’t be where I am today. Everything happened because I let my hometown feels go. They left fleeting and only leaving memories and moments that live on in my mind. I love visiting our families back home but I am more than happy to head back to our home that we created in our city.