Have you ever experienced moving somewhere brand new? Taking it all in breath by breath and letting your new “temporary” home sink into your being? Did you embrace it and explore your new surroundings? Did you fall head over heels in love with your newly discovered freedom, yet still believe that no new place could ever possibly replace your home where you were raised? That no big city could ever replace the worn, walked-on streets in your small town that you used to wander with your high school friends at 3am? Yes?
Did you ever return to the town where you were raised and realize that it will never feel the same again?
I’ve lived that exact feeling. I live it pretty frequently as a matter of fact, since I have moved back to my home state (not city) for the duration of my partner’s current job.
I never thought I would feel like a foreigner in the small town that was a major part of my life throughout my childhood. That driving through the streets would feel cold, and… new even. That when I would go to check on some of my old classmates from high school, they would still be doing the same things that they were doing before I left years ago. That old friends and I literally had nothing in common anymore except our high school.
Its an uncomfortable feeling. A mixture of sadness and gratitude because I want to feel that “homey” fuzzy feeling similar to what we get on Christmas morning with our families. That feeling I used to have when Nick and I would bring our children to visit family and I would return to those same streets. We all want to fit right in where we should. But it seems the older and more experienced I become, the less I relate to that place. I feel incredibly grateful to have been given the opportunity to travel, explore, and fall in love with new places, people, and experience things that most people my age have yet to experience. Other areas and cities have become “home” to me in a new way, replacing the old. In several ways, it seems as if I’ve simply outgrown that old town. I even find myself avoiding it occasionally.
The area where I grew up, although laced with thousands of memories, just seems like its covered in a dense fog that I’d rather not travel through. Its as though the town is an ex-lover, and that I have finally felt the sun upon my soul, providing me the courage to move on.
But I see so many people… planted. Planted in the town they were born and raised in, now raising their own children and carrying on just as their parents did before them. They live a five minute drive from their entire family, a grocery store, and a gas station. It doesn’t phase them that they could leave and start new elsewhere. Some even get that chance but decide to stay. And they seem to have it all.
But I can’t help but believe we were made for bigger adventures.
Even though humans are tribal creatures, I feel as though we are made to explore. That we are made to experience the struggle that comes with changes. I am someone that cannot handle any amount of change without great struggle. But I do it for the the sake of the result. I take that leap. And you know what? It took a lot time to build up the courage to become that way. It was not how I was raised. But a change I wanted to make for myself.
I feel we are made to breathe in air that we have yet to be exposed to. We are meant to climb to new heights just to be able to look back down and think “That used to be me down there.” We are meant to feel the sun in a new way. We are meant to feel the magic and energies that come with new territory to rid ourselves of the negativity we carry with us. We are meant to have the soul of a gypsy.
So after years of traveling and finding new homes and memories, this is what I’ve realized:
Don’t be afraid of the change if you feel stuck in one spot. Don’t be afraid of packing your bags and leaving while the moon shines her light just because somewhere inside of you craves that adventure. That high. That moment.
Run with it.
Because you know what?
One day you may look back on that small town where you once began your story.
But you’ll soon realize that you were meant to stand exactly where you are. So take a deep breath, because that’s okay. You too, may have outgrown what used to be everything to you.
So stand tall.
You’ll be so grateful that you began that new chapter.