Perhaps it’s immaturity or impatience that makes us want to get away. The sleepy town where we grew up is too small for our lofty ambitions, there’s nothing to do, and there’s no one new to meet. So we leave. It’s a retirement town, a dead end road. I’ve heard it over and over, and I was that person— holding a tiny bit of a grudge against a city that had done nothing to me, yet I blamed it for my boredom and accused it of being dull. Harsh labels to put on a place I called home.
For nearly four years, I reveled in my wanderings. Don’t get me wrong— each experience was rich and meaningful, and I loved that nomadic lifestyle. I found the power of simplicity. I saw my own insignificance reflecting off the world view I was so privileged to gaze upon, and though seemingly irreconcilable in my mind based on the latter, I also saw the significance of merely loving people. In Thailand or Tennessee, New York or Singapore, showing love broke communication barriers and bathed me in a patience and compliance I couldn’t muster on my own. What I found, though, is not what I sought. I was seeking career fulfillment, cultured cities and avenues of adventure. Yes, I experienced those things in certain capacities but not the glorified degree I’d once envisioned while in my sleepy little town.
Then I came home. I was happy to cross back over the ocean. I was happy to cross back over the Mason-Dixon. For nearly ten months, I’ve been back. It feels like a different city. While I was gone, I stumbled upon sensible contentment, a quality in which I was once deficient. I regained my eternal Purpose and began to see things in brighter hues. A whirlwind of adventure swept me away from the dull, grayscale home I once knew, only to drop me in a new and colorful place. But unlike Dorothy’s concussive illusion, my colorful place was home, and there’s no place like it.
I have met the people I always wished existed yet were here all along. I found the things to do I had always wanted to do, yet I never found the outlet. I go into places where they know my name like in the old, bar-scene sitcom, Cheers. Most of all, I’ve found a new group of people to love, my people. And it’s my favorite thing in the whole world.
How merciful my little town was to me.
I’m here for now, but who knows where life will lead? I’m here for now, but I already can’t wait to get back home.