—part of this month’s Travel Tuesday theme: Where you came from//Why you left. For some reason, I feel like this week’s theme is so much more personal than usual that I had a hard time coming up with anything at all. I also have a tendency to err on the side of depressing when it comes to being serious. For that I apologize.
The last time I was in my hometown was for Christmas holiday off work. What once used to be an amazing 2 weeks where I didn’t have to work on any homework is now just a glorified week off of work—if you can swing it. If you can bear to part with those precious gems called PTO days. I was excited, though. Excited for again, no work; but most of all, I was excited to be back on my own grounds. We’re all suckers for walking down memory lane.
Driving down the road leading to my childhood home, however, felt more eerie than comforting… and I had no idea why. Walking up the dim-lit hardwood stairs to my room felt empty, devoid of meaning as I settled in for the night.
It’s weird because I didn’t feel this way when I was home for the summer. My hometown still felt like my town, the trophy-wife factory that it was. Fit moms still peppered the streets at all times of day, the one running-obsessed girl was still running her same route at nearly the same time. My bed was still sinfully amazing to sink into and I’d sleep like a log, knowing that this was where I belonged.
This time, everything was still the same… on the surface. But I sensed that something had shifted; something had changed. My room no longer felt like mine, but like it was on loan to me; the home that I grew up in felt more unfamiliar. I was no longer used to the way my house lived and breathed.
Even meeting my high school friends felt a little weird. As high school friends go, I’d say we’re a closer knit than many. No one expects people to hang onto their high school friends… but we did. And we always tried to make it back at least once a year so that everyone can catch up.
It was then that I realized: it wasn’t that nothing has changed, it was that we did. Even though we were all in the same town, the number of times that we’d seen each other was quite low. Now, we had to choose between spending time with family or each other—a choice that we’d never had to make before because back then: we had all the time in the world to see both.
None of us were the same people anymore; none of us lived in the same town; none of us had the same aspirations. The environment had stayed the same and we tried our best squeezing ourselves back into the us-shaped holes that we had left behind but we no longer fit. What used to anchor us to our hometown—our friendships—was now no more; our relationships had proven strong regardless of location and it will continuously do so.
So I left, knowing that I wasn’t keen on experiencing those emotions again. I left and am currently leaving because there’s nothing left for me back there. There’s no future to be found there and no place for me in its lovely suburban construct. Sure, I’ll always have family there and, in a way, a connection to my childhood home; but all I feel when I return now is the echoes of old memories.
What are your thoughts on your hometown? Also if you hated this post and would never want to see anything like it again here, please tell me!
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