My true confession? I confess that I was wrong when I moved away from home thirteen years ago. Now, I
Born and raised in a relatively small town in northwest Indiana, I spent my twenties thinking that my hometown was too small to contain me. I had big dreams, big goals, and I needed to spread my wings and fly. I considered a couple of different states. Texas is big, so that seemed like a good choice. Oregon is beautiful, and something about the reputed vibe of Portland drew me in. After a trip to visit the state, I was in love and moved a couple of months later.
With a foolhardy and absolute belief that “everything would work out,” I packed whatever I considered essential and could fit into my Toyota Corolla. A friend I’d made in Portland flew out to Chicago and helped me share the driving burden as we traversed the country back to the west coast. Within a week, I’d found work through a temp agency and soon had my own apartment. The years flew by and, for most of those years, I was determined never to move back to Indiana again. The very notion felt like a step backwards.
In the last couple of years, I experienced more personal challenges than in my whole life put together. Losses and the death of family members, dashed hopes, and a complete recalibration of life goals caused a change of heart in me. I visited home last year and the year before and began to see, not just what I’d gotten away from, but what I had missed. Cousins seemed to have sprouted like the corn stalks that grow so plentifully in the Midwest. Family members had gotten older, and I had missed out on so many holiday get-togethers, cookouts, and thirteen years of birthdays.
It was surprisingly easy to make the decision to return to my hometown, even after so many years of insistence that I wouldn't The actual moving part wasn't easy. It was much harder to go back than it was to leave, but I feel that I've come back for the right reasons. And I acknowledge that I might have left for the wrong reasons. I was wrong to think I would never, could never go back. You can go back, and sometimes it’s just where you’re meant to be.
Did you leave your hometown or is that where you'll always stay? If you've left, would you ever go back?