Hometown No Longer

missoula1As I drove the streets of somewhere that was once all I knew, I felt nothing— or at least, an oddly small amount of sentiment.

This place that was once my entire world, this place that, for 18 years, was my home— it wasn’t anymore.

As I walked through the bars on Saturday night, seeing familiar faces and basking in the moment with friends from my past, I felt as though they were all home, and I was just visiting.

Why is it that I don’t feel as though this place that I grew up is mine, that it doesn’t have any ties to me? Why is it that I am so emotionally removed, so foreign in a place that I once knew so well?

Because, I’m not sure I ever gave this place my all.

I’m not sure it ever saw me for who I really am— I’m not sure I let it.

Growing up, worrying about saying the wrong thing, fitting in, and staying quiet were the norm for me. I had an exceptional group of friends, mentors, and peers— yet I’m not sure I ever fully came into my own.

Having left five years ago, I left it all behind.

And other than my family and friends, I really had nothing else tying me here, nothing sentimental about the city got to me. I had run it’s course.

Having left five years ago, I was scared. I left my life behind, and I forged a new path. I (slowly and with many learning experiences aka mistakes) became the person that I was always meant to be.

My hometown gave me an incredible childhood, an incredible upbringing. It gave me my one true love, ballet. It gave me friends, memories and lessons.

But it’s not my hometown anymore.

And that’s okay.

I have uprooted from my former home, and I have planted myself elsewhere— never forgetting my appreciation for what it has given me, yet always remembering that it’s not where I’m meant to be.

Always remembering that the self-conscious girl that lived there doesn’t have to be who I am now, doesn’t have to be who I am ever again.

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