Monday, May 16, 2011

On Living In My Hometown

Today after work and a boring meeting, I had to go to the center of my town to run some errands. With the exception of visiting the library, bank and the best pharmacy ever- I almost never spend time in my actual town. I work in a different town, my friends live in nearby towns and I usually enjoy restaurants in other towns. But, try as I may to pretend it's not the case, I currently own a house in the town I grew up in.

Truth be told, that was not the plan. That was the opposite of the plan in fact. Growing up if you told me I would EVER live here after the age of 18 I probably would've laughed very hard. But, if you want to hear God laugh tell him your plans, right?

I guess you could call me a homebody... though I'm not sure if anyone would really describe me that way. I've lived here, went to college 25 minutes away, moved back here, moved to one of the bordering towns, and then moved back here again. The one notable deviation from my predictable "move back here" life has been my 6 month study abroad in Sydney experience. It was at this time that I said goodbye to everyone I knew, jumped on a plane by myself, and moved to Australia for 6 months. Did I handle it well? I think so. Was I perfectly capable of handling life on my own? Sure (if you call life in school life on my own, which is questionable). Somehow even at the time I knew that was going to be a brief exercise in proving to myself I was capable of being "Miss Independent" so that I wouldn't have to do it again. Not that I couldn't, but just that I realized, why? I mean sure, there is something to be said for being able to handle life on my own... but I was missing a lot here too.

About two and a half years ago now, Eric and I decided to start looking at buying a house. My first words to my real estate agent, "Eric and I are not super picky about the town. We know there are a lot of great towns around here. We'd like to be in the middle of our two jobs. Oh and forget about ____, I grew up there and I'm NOT moving back." She laughed, but respected my wishes and showed us houses in many of the neighboring towns.

Fast forward through way too many terrible houses (or okay houses that have such low ceilings Eric can't even stand up) and I find myself at a house that can only be described as ON A HIGHWAY.... not kidding. My mom and Eric were both with me and I was clearly getting fed up with the house buying process. "Okay, I realize it is on a highway, but it is a nice house and a good price" (obviously because it is on a highway!). On the way home from highway house, we decided to stop by one more open house in my hometown. I couldn't believe I was even giving a house in this town a chance, but I figured I wouldn't like the house since I had not loved so many others. Well, of course- we did love the house and that is the story of how I found myself living in my hometown.

Honestly, I have become quite skilled at not revealing this fact about myself. I'll try not to mention both where I am from and where I currently live now in the same conversation. I also have become the master at describing my house as "on the town line of my town and the town next to mine." Even Eric has adopted this philosophy after learning that the town next door creates more of a "oh, great for you guys" reaction than our town... with it's more "snobby" reputation.

Is it really that bad living in my hometown? No... it's actually fantastic. I'm a 7 minute commute from work. I'm 3 miles from my parents. 20 minutes from Fenway Park. I have tons of great tutoring opportunities 10-15 minutes away. I love love LOVE my house.

I very rarely even catch sight of anyone I know, and I tend to have a lot more awkward encounters in the town I teach in than I do here. I think I always worried that if I lived here, my whole life would feel like high school. In fact, my life feels not at all like high school (at times it could use a little more high school!). It feels like an every day, normal life, just like it has felt like in any other town I've ever lived. Today I drove past my high school and it felt so far away from my life... like someone I know went there instead of myself.

Life is crazy.

On a positive note, I did manage to secure a house on the opposite side of town, meaning I will not be talking my own kids to my elementary or middle school and am at least 16 years or more away from setting foot inside the high school. And if the next ten years are in any way as unpredictable as the last ten years have been, who knows if I'll ever be back there?

Yet somehow, far away from my high school life, I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes from back then... Turns out no where but who you're with that really matters.

How far away do you live from your hometown? Would you ever consider moving back? Do you think it's important to move away, at least temporarily, before coming back?


  1. How funny. My hometown is the most boring place ever. I would move to my second hometown for sure...when Im ready to settle. Its far from the city

  2. Haha that's too funny. I used to always say I would NEVER end up in my hometown and my Dad thought differently. Then I moved 3 hours away for my first 2 years of college and then 10 hours away for my next 2 years. Somehow I ended up staying here, 10 hours away from home. Eric and I actually HATED Kamloops when we first moved here. A lot of stuff kept going wrong (bad car accident, no jobs etc) and we were bound and determined to leave as soon as I was done school. But then somewhere in the last 3 years we started to really like it here and I got a really good job and then Eric decided to go back to school and then we bought our townhouse and now here we are, totally settled with roots in the ground!! Now I honestly don't see myself EVER moving back to my hometown because I could not handle the weather or the small-town life. Also I kind of like living in a "city" (by Canadian terms :P).It does really suck being 10 hours away from my family, though!

  3. Hells no, I will never live in my home town. But it's in nowhere, north dakota, population 500. No thanks! I don't think I would even live in my home state. I am proud of my origins, especially since ND is one of the few states with a budget SURPLUS, but i have no desire to move back there! And my parents can't wait to retire and move to the lake cabin. SO yah. Statistiscal chance of me moving to my hometown? zero. :)

  4. Well, currently we're living with my parents so that's a little to close for comfort. :-) However, when we finally find full time jobs (hopefully soon!) we would like to be in or close to our hometown. All our family is there and that's really important to me. It's dependent on where we find our jobs as well, but we're hoping they'll be close by. I don't know, maybe it's a cop out, but I know my way around, I like it, and it would just be easier.

  5. This reminds me of my own life, Kelly :) Nick and I grew up in the same major city, but different suburbs, and I won when we decided where we wanted to live (my suburb!). Like your area, it's got a pretty snobby reputation, but oh well, the schools are great and everything is so close. I do live a little TOO close to my parents.....but it hasn't been so bad. In fact, it's been nice having them so close (just as long as they don't do random drop-ins!!).

  6. such a fun story! I do think it is important to move away, if even only temporary. It's all about life experience and seeing "what you are missing." and if what you are missing is home then by all means, move back! I an hour and a half from my hometown! not too far. I have no real intention of moving back but i do love where i grew up!!

  7. I sadly live 5 miles from the town I grew up in. 15 minutes from my parents house ha. I did NOT want to be this close. But, I technically live in the neighboring town (address wise) reality wise I live in the country ha. And it is a totally different school system, woot. I am faarrrr closer than I ever wanted to be. I wanted to move down south. But when the guy you are marrying has a full-time job here and makes more than you will ever make anywhere else, the decision kind of makes itself. Though, we spent far too little time looking at a house than we should have, mainly because we were done with apartments and had 3 months to find a new place. We looked at this town and 2 others that were farther away. But 2.5 acres, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a relative selling the house got us a great deal pretty fast. I run into some people from high school randomly but thankfully not as much as I dreaded.

  8. I live in MA now but grew up in New Jersey - so I am living no where near my hometown.

    I don't think I could ever afford to live in my hometown however, if I could, I would love to move back there.

  9. I never thought you would be the one to stay in our home town and I would be the one moving to a different state.

    I'm excited though.

    But I'm coming back, don't worry!

  10. I really want to stay in this area, or at least in a surrounding city, if I can. I love being around family and I'm not sure if I could handle being far away from my mom. (Which probably means I need to!) But I'm searching for jobs in this area and I hope I can set down my roots here. I just love this area and can't imagine living anywhere else.

    But who knows what will happen! It's all in the air! :)

  11. I live in the town I grew up in - oh wait! I live in the HOUSE I grew up in... It's for sale now though and I am hoping to live nearby but not in this house

  12. Truth be told, I don't have a hometown. I was born in San Salvador but we left when I was eight due to a civil war. Since then I've spent most of my time living in Toronto but I have also lived in Quebec City, Paris (on two separate occasions), Victoria, and now the Rocky Mountains.

    Toronto is probably the closes thing to a hometown and although there are things I LOVE about it I doubt I will ever return. There's just something about the West Coast....when you see how beautiful it is there is no going back.

    Besides, the Husband is from Vancouver Island and as we've discovered living in the Rockies - being landlocked and experiencing winter does not agree with him.