Why You Sometimes Have To Leave To Figure Out Where You Belong

Photo: Emils Desjatnikovs / Shutterstock
woman walking away

By Ashlyn Thomson

As children grow up they are prepared for the real world. They are prepared to go off on their own, and it is known to be one of the hardest things to do. At least, that’s how my family made it out.

Living out on your own, working a full-time job, and paying bills is a very hard thing to do, so don’t get me wrong. But there’s one thing that is even harder: coming back home.

When you grow up in a town and live there all your life, you want to leave as fast as you possibly can, and that’s exactly what I did.

I decided I wanted to grow up earlier than I needed to, and here I am, writing this piece.

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I finished school five months earlier than everyone else and traveled to Alberta for work, in the hope of a change of pace, a change of environment, and to live a happier lifestyle.

Alberta was great. It was all I hoped for and more, but once that two-month mark hit I knew I needed to make a decision about where I wanted to be.

You see, traveling away from everything you know seems to be a dream, seems to stand as new ground for a new life. That isn’t the case.

When you move away you bring your past with you, you learn more and use the life skills that you’ve learned from your past to pursue new things for your future.

For me, it was road signs. Every town, city, and province seem to use the same street names — something so little turned out to be so huge.

You’ll live on Dundas Street in your hometown and will be driving to work and pass a street named Dundas. At first, you think you’re just seeing things, but then the next day here you are, stopped at the light on Dundas street, then the memories come flowing back.

You’ll start thinking about the moments you had at home and, eventually, that’s all you can think about.

If you’re like me, you’ll try home out again, you’ll get on a plane and see what happens. And that was one of the best things I could have done for myself.

Why, do you ask? Well, I personally knew the minute I got off the plane that I needed to be here, to be here closer to family, to familiar things, and to life as I knew it.

This was just supposed to be a visit; this was me deciding what I needed and I told myself I needed a sign, something to make me sure I needed to be at home again. And that is just what I got.

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With my plane being canceled and delayed over five times, I knew I wasn’t supposed to go back to where I was in Alberta, but I still went. I went to give it one last try. It again was the moment I stepped off the plane, the minute I knew what I needed to do.

So I drove home a few weeks later, and now I am settled in my hometown in the house I’ve lived in all my life, and things are back to normal.

I guess normal isn’t quite the word I should use because things are different now. I am different.

You see, when you grow up and become more independent, you’ll start to notice how much you’ve grown; you’ll see the difference between the people you grew up with and how their attitudes and interests are different from yours. You’ll know more about yourself and you’ll change for the better.

But one piece of advice I have to give is to not expect people to grow up at the same time you have. Not everyone is the same and you’ll have to be okay with that.

You’ll have to find new people. People who have the same thoughts and desires as you do. Find those people who you can connect with; they’ll be there if you open your eyes.

Coming home is always a great feeling, but make sure your eyes are wide open for change, because you’ll be in the same place you grew up in but you’ll be so much more advanced and mature than you were before.

You’ll have to change who you spend time with, learn patience with people, and understand your friends from home may not be the friends you will have when coming back. It is a completely different experience, but one that is great to do.

Take another step forward to a greater life. You can do it from wherever.

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Ashlyn Thomson is a writer and musician who writes primarily about relationships, money, and self-improvement topics. Visit her author profile for more.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.