I have always mourned the breakups with my hometown. I never wanted to leave, but there were good reasons to go: college, then graduate school, then jobs I could not get if I stayed.
There was always a price to staying, but what I did not really understand then was there was also a price to leaving.
I left the last time for love, and when that broke apart itself, I did not go back. I cannot tell you all the reasons why—I am not sure I understand them all myself.
What I do know is that back then, I could feel something pulling me to go home, and also pushing me away. I got job interviews but no offers. I visited but felt the tug to go back to where I was living.
I kept waiting for a sign of what I was supposed to do, and when no sign flashed in neon, I got tired of guessing. I got tired of longing to go home.
I decided maybe the lesson was to be happy where I was, so I painted my walls brighter colors, moved around the furniture, stopped applying to a life I was not living. I focused on what I had, not what I didn’t.
That was years ago. My hometown is still my favorite place to go.
Recently when I was there, I tried to capture some of it in pictures. I don’t suppose it really tells you what I love, only that I love it.
That it’s a place I cannot forget.