I wasn’t born in the town I grew up and live in currently. I left the place of my birth when I was a year old. My parents talk about that place a lot and I often wonder how my life would be different if we’d stayed. Their lives seemed so much different there than what I knew growing up. Here, they led a more quiet life. More family oriented. There are friends and social interactions, but certainly not at the level that they used to enjoy before I was born. Their focus changed to giving their child the best life they could give.
I often wonder what it would’ve been like if we never moved to the place I live now. Would I have been a different person? Would I have gone to a different college, have a more active lifestyle? Would I have been a stranger to the self that I am now?
It’s hard to tell. Maybe I would have. Or maybe I would’ve been the same. Maybe not exactly the same; obviously I wouldn’t have known the people I know now. But maybe I would have the same interests, the same quiet, studious nature that I have now. It certainly would have been interesting.
I never asked my parents if they missed it there. My dad’s work gave him three options to transfer and this was the place he chose, so far away from the home base. Did they regret making this choice?
I met a girl in college who became my friend, she was originally from my birth town. I always thought this was a strange coincidence: what are the chances of meeting someone who grew up in the town you left so long ago? I’m not sure if she liked it there, I know she wasn’t thrilled with her high school. But she’s a cool and edgy person, so maybe we would have been friends if I’d stayed there.
We want what we can’t have of course. I don’t exactly hate the town that I call my home, but it’s familiar and I can see the struggles and imperfections of a place that tries to put on a good face to the world. All towns are like this; all people wish for something different, something that’s not like what they know.
We pay homage to strange places because they’re only showing you their best. We know what it is, but we do it anyway. We truly hope for the place that is so much more than where we are now, better than anything we can imagine to be, even if it’s only in our dreams.