I live in the same town that I grew up in.
When I was still in high school, my boyfriend (now husband) had just joined the army. We used to talk about what his plans were after basic training. Would he enlist in the active duty army or the National Guard? We talked about the fact that if he enlisted in the active duty army, he would be stationed at an army base in another state. Our plan was to get married and move away. This excited me to no end! There was a college nearby the army base that he would most likely be stationed at. I would go to school in our new city and we would have all sorts of fun new adventures in our new place. A few years later we would probably move again and start our fun adventure somewhere else. We would even probably go overseas. It was so exciting.
I remember when I was about 12 or 13 I was in the car with my parents traveling down the nearest highway. Probably heading the the mall in the next city. There was construction on the highway and it had been going on for months. I asked my dad when all this construction would be done. His reply was "Probably by the year 2000!" ... I quickly did the math in my head and very firmly and very assure of myself said "Well... I won't be living here by then anyway"
Well, my then boyfriend chose the National Guard and stayed here. And I never did move away. For a few months between my junior and senior year I contemplated attending college in another state. My boyfriend (now husband) and I had broken up that summer and I wanted to be far away from this state, this town, and him. Then we got back together and attending college 30 minutes away while still living at home seemed like a better idea.
Four years after high school we got married and moved .... one town away. We lived there for 6 years and it was so nice. Even though we were just in the next town over it felt like we were far away. We didn't run into old high school buddies (or not-so buddies) at the local Wal-Mart. We didn't have the awkward moment when the pizza delivery guy turned out to be someone we graduated with (its happened, just not to us!). Then we moved back to the town we both grew up in. To be closer to our parents and to raise our kids in a nice quiet city with good schools. And now I can't go one mile without seeing someone I went to school with.
And I thought I would hate it. And on some days I do. Like the day I go to Target, un-showered, hair a mess just to run in to get something real quick and spot the head cheerleader or the football star walking my way. Even though I'm a grown up, and a much different person than I was in high school.. living in the same town that you grew up in kind of forces you to feel the same as you did in high school about certain things, certain people.
But there are the good things. The random memories that I may have otherwise lost that seem to pop up when I'm driving my daughter to school, or passing by the high school as I do at least twice a week; the ability to tell my children how much the town has grown "that used to be a field when I was a kid"; the ease of being able to drive by my childhood home at will to show my kids where mommy used to live; the closeness of our parents, who without their help I'm sure I wouldn't have come out of the other end of my children's toddler days alive; and there's also the rekindled friendships of long-lost school friends or the new friendships with the people that we dared not associate with during jr. high or high school because our cliques were not one in the same.
There is still a little voice in me that finds it exciting to pick up and move somewhere far away, somewhere new and different. And maybe that can still happen. One day maybe my children will move away and I'll move to be closer to them. But for now, I really can't image a better place to be. After all, its home.