I live in the town I grew up in. There, I said it. Get a glass of water if you need one, I know the news can be jarring to many.
To the many, I know such a statement makes me sound simple, unadventurous, and mundane. Growing up you often hear the words, “I can’t wait to get out of this place.” Why? There are many reasons both valid and just plain escapist. For the former, it might be an abusive home or a lack of jobs. Valid. For the latter, the allure of something more – whatever that may be – lies somewhere else. Anywhere else but where you are. Which is ok, but take a hard look at your reasons for leaving before you think the grass is greener in Greenville, USA. Because maybe you just need a new lawnmower.
Like anything in life, sometimes it isn’t the physicality that limits you, it is what you do with the resources you have and how you look at them. To me, this town is my home base. My family is the foundation that represents a four mile radius around my house, my personality has been imprinted on the local schools and playgrounds, and my memories were born here and float in the ether until I pull them back down to reminisce. All readily available at a moment’s notice.
Instead of letting my home limit me, I look to it as my springboard for the vast pool of life. The comfort of home allowed me to jump out of my comfort zone and explore the world. I’ve been blessed to have travelled far and wide, experiencing so many things that different climates and cultures have to offer. But I’ve always come home. And when asked…I am proud, not ashamed, to say that I live in the town I grew up in; for I have found no other place in the world that is fully me.
I firmly believe everyone should let themselves go. If you come back to your home town, it was meant to be. If not and you have found what you are looking for elsewhere, then that was meant to be. I just don’t want anyone to assume that “getting out of this place” is an easy way out. To find your own truths, don’t assume they lie elsewhere, instead, start by digging in your own backyard first. When you are done, you may have made a hole big enough for a pool.
So if you are one of those who live in the town you grew up in and someone asks you, “Don’t you feel limited having been chained to this place your whole life?” Simply reply, “While you see them as chains, I see them as roots.”
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