Lately I have been spending a lot of time thinking about my future. It is always something I think about these days, more so than any other time in my life. I have been asked a lot recently about my future and where I will live and what I want to do. I seem to tell people the answers I think I am supposed to, it is what I have always been best at, so the habit is very hard to break.
But today I had a thought... it is okay to stay. It is okay to go home. It is okay to live in the same area for your entire life. It is not a loss. It is not a failure. That person's life is not smaller than someone who left. I tell people that I want to try living in New York City, and to be honest, I do think about it. I talk about a possible future in Texas for a grad program or if my parents ever move there. I am dying to visit Seattle to consider a move there. But actually, these are just answers I say for people to think I am more interesting or driven or braver than I actually am.
Truth is, I don't think I want to leave. I realized today that all of my favorite TV shows and movies and books are about staying or returning home. Gilmore Girls, Providence, Brothers & Sisters, October Road, etc. All those plots are about home and coming to terms with being an adult where you grew up. It is not easy. I talk to my mom nearly every day and I am - or maybe we both are - still learning how to navigate our relationship as her baby girl grows up and as I realize my mom is an adult in the real world. I have to say, being in the corporate world and living on my own and having good friends my parent's age, has given me a new level of understanding or a new dimension of a relationship about them.
All this to say, your life is still full if you never left where you grew up but please move out of your parents' house for at least a bit). I will still be just as capable and accomplished if I ever decide to return to my hometown. I think all I want to know is that home is always there and that you can always come home. I heard a great quote about this today: "life needs to be an adventure. The world is big and it's exciting and if you don't like it, home is always waiting for you. The door is always open, you can return."
This thought is so exciting and inspiring, but what about breaking leases and having money for food when you move away? How do you navigate the decision to leave and the decision to accept that you should go back? It's all a very interesting thought process as a single, corporate, twenty-something.
So, we'll see...