When I look back over the last 17 years since college graduation, I know I made the right decision for me. Aside from being an hour away in Delaware for college, I've never lived more than 20 minutes from the town in which I grew up. I've traveled to many places within and outside of the United States, and this is where I always return. It's where my roots are. It's in my bones.
Saturday, on a drive, I passed:
-The corner where I sat watching the Lower Southampton July 4th Parade every year from childhood to my early 20s
-The Lower South fields where Gamma used to stock the stand and I entered my lifelong relationship with Swedish Fish
-The relocated library...Gamma took me to the original every week
-Kim's street, turning the opposite way just like I would have to go home to my house from there in high school
-Hanging a left on Arbutus and remembering a driver playing chicken with me on the way to Volleyball practice with Jenny, George, and Brian in the car
-Sailing down Old Lincoln Highway towards the high school like I've done so many times...speeding to make it before the first bell, going to gym night practice, to a football game on Friday night, to see both of my brothers graduate
It was like living the lyrics of My Hometown by The Boss...except that nothing was rundown, just different from it was when I was younger. Different but still the same.
I don't meander down back roads much anymore. But on days like Saturday it's like driving on memory, taking routes I couldn't direct you down but can drive myself like I'm on autopilot. I can practically see and feel previous versions of myself in front of me and sometimes feel like I'm existing in two separate times. I love that.
What about you? Stayed in your home town or moved away?