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Staying in your small home town.

Since joining facebook and becoming reacquainted with former classmates I have to say I'm shocked at how many of them stayed put in our little redneck town. They got married, had kids and essentially became their parents. They golf, coach kids sports, are involved in the local this or that.

Even some of the (still) single ones still live there.

I suppose they stayed because it was easy. Their lives were mapped out for them. They knew what to do and what was expected of them.

A few of them are obsessed with our high school days and have all the pictures and yearbooks and know who and where everyone is. I don't remember who most of them are anymore.

I high-tailed it out of that shit hole as soon as I could. Not just because I was gay but because I knew there was a big world out there and I wanted to be part of it. I wanted to see and do things and live in big cities and meet interesting people.

High school was OK for me but certainly nothing special. It was just something to get through until I could get on with life.

by Anonymousreply 7805/11/2013

You're beautiful, OP.

by Anonymousreply 105/09/2013

Different strokes, etc. Most people stay where their families are. Especially if they're raising their own families. People always wonder why Indians stay on reservations when they could have better lives away from it. The truth is, that's what they know and that's where their family is. People like what's familiar. And to look down on those who chose another way.

by Anonymousreply 205/09/2013

Developmentally, some people never move beyond adolescence and they tend to stay close to their childhood homes. Water seeks its own level geographically and socially.

by Anonymousreply 305/09/2013

[quote]Most people stay where their families are. Especially if they're raising their own families

Especially if they're following the the expected marry-the opposite-sex, have kids, work a menial job blueprint. It's easy to stay near family when you're doing exactly what they want you to and offer support.

by Anonymousreply 405/09/2013

OP, I could have written that, no kidding.

by Anonymousreply 505/09/2013

Whatever works. Don't judge.

by Anonymousreply 605/09/2013

I'm with R5. I could have written it too.

HOWEVER, a lot of people stay in their hometowns because they're close to their families. I know it's shocking, but some people actually LOVE their parents and their siblings. They like being around them and seeing them.

by Anonymousreply 705/09/2013

When I was in high school it was very common for people to say "these are the best years of your life" Even then I knew that was bullshit, that my life wouldn't actually start until I graduated (June 1977) got on Amtrak (August 1977) and got to New York. Haven't looked back.

by Anonymousreply 805/09/2013

[quote] I know it's shocking, but some people actually LOVE their parents and their siblings. They like being around them and seeing them.

Don't be a dick. I love my family too and am very close to my elderly parents and siblings. I have lots of nieces and nephews too who I adore.

But that doesn't mean I have to live in the same town as them for the rest of my life, does it? Some of them moved on to other cities and towns too. I never saw my love for my family as a reason to suppress my own goals and desires to live a bigger life.

I moved away and still manage to stay close to my family. I email, facebook, call twice a week and visit at least twice a year.

by Anonymousreply 905/09/2013

My mother told me that whole best years of your life thing was utter horseshit from an early age, r8. One of the wisest things she's ever said. But she hightailed it out of dodge at her first opportunity, which came when she had two small children and an equally adventurous husband, and never looked back. She's lived 4000 miles from her family since 1964 and outlived them all.

Strangely she's never understood why her youngest child did the same.

by Anonymousreply 1005/09/2013

OP, you must be in your 20s to even care about something like this. By the time you get to your 40s, you won't give a shit about paths chosen by your high school classmates.

by Anonymousreply 1105/09/2013

OP is a total idiot. What on earth does loving or not loving your family have to do with suppressing goals and desires? You're insuating that people who stay in their home towns are losers. OP is a loser for even caring.

by Anonymousreply 1205/09/2013

In many was, the small town life sounds romantic and American dreamy. Family close at hand, seems like there is less a chance at failing big, and you've got roots.

by Anonymousreply 1305/09/2013

Some people are like deep roots and stay put.

Other want to fly and plant their seed in other corners of the globe.

It's all good, OP - don't be so judgmental

by Anonymousreply 1405/09/2013

You know what R13? I have roots in NYC. I still love and have close relationships with the family I left, but my life is elsewhere and that doesn't preclude me from having deep, meaningful relationships outside of my family and my hometown.

by Anonymousreply 1505/09/2013

Better them, than me

by Anonymousreply 1605/09/2013

[quote]What on earth does loving or not loving your family have to do with suppressing goals and desires?

Nothing. Who said it did? I was responding to R7 who implied that I didn't love my family.

by Anonymousreply 1705/09/2013

What is it you want to hear OP? That you're a better person than they are for living in a big city? That's not an accomplishment in itself dear.

What was your reason for posting this? Too boost your self worth? Your class mates actually sound like they lead pretty good lives. Something tells me you envy what they have.

by Anonymousreply 1805/09/2013

I'm not necessarily judgemental about people who stay put for their entire lives in a place that I myself couldn't wait to leave. I understand the whole family thing.

I will admit, however, that I do somehow look upon them as being not very inquisitive about the world at large and preferring to live their lives in a very small way.

I live in Madison, WI (after having lived in both L.A. and S.F. for many years). About four miles outside of Madison is a small community called Waunakee, which contains pretty much nothing but sub-divisions, a Piggly Wiggly, a hardware store and a couple of burger places. A guy at work once told us about a woman he knows who is in her mid-40's and "HAD NEVER BEEN TO MADISON"!! We all thought he was kidding...I mean, you could almost WALK to Madison from there...but he swears it's true. He told us she had just never felt the need to go anywhere outside of Waunakee and that Waunakee had everything she needed.

Talk about living "small"...

by Anonymousreply 1905/09/2013

Believe it or not, R18, I wasn't expecting any of that. Rather, I was hoping to initiate a discussion about staying home versus leaving. Maybe hear some anecdotes from others who have done one or the other.

This IS a discussion board, is it not? Are we to be attacked for each and every topic we bring up? Is THAT what Datalounge has become?

by Anonymousreply 2005/09/2013


I'm rather in the same situation as you. I was only putting myself in the shoes of the people OP describes and trying to see their situation in a more positive light (as I assume those very people do and should). I guess it came off as contrarian or worse, which I did not want.

by Anonymousreply 2105/09/2013

People are different, that's all.

Many people have their identity firmly rooted in their hometown. It's their safe haven, where they feel at home. It's normal for many people to travel and explore when they're young and then return to their hometown when they tire of it. Maybe they're just content with living there and traveling elsewhere once in a while, that's enough adventure for them.

Personally, I'm young and still live in my hometown, and I hate it. There's not a lot of opportunities here, and I know I can never find out what I want to do with my life and feel free before I get out of here.

I'm also trapped by my own memories, everywhere I go in this town it reminds me of something. I feel trapped by my past idenity. I want to get out of here so I can discover more, change and grow a new identity. It's especially important because too many of my memories are bad ones and reminds me of my weaknesses; I need to get away and try life in new worlds so I can challenge myself and be a free person, instead of being dragged down and becoming emotionally exhausted by this town and all it reminds me of and the identity it forces on me.

While others might have all they need to feel fulfilled in their hometown. Nostalgia about their childhood... They travel and explore, but they don't necessarily need to find a new identity, they just strengthen the one they already have.

by Anonymousreply 2205/09/2013

I stumbled across the Facebook page for my high school reunion yesterday. I left my hometown 3 months after graduation for college. My parents divorced during my freshman year and she moved to back to the town she grew up in which wasn't far from where we lived.

I've never gone back in over 30 years.

I was really amused that the post people's photos from the yearbook every day on their birthdays and wish them a happy birthday wish.

The post on my birthday wished me a happy birthday (where ever he is) and had all these people chiming in with birthday wishes. None of these people would have anything to do with me in high school.

All of these people are still living where we grew up.

by Anonymousreply 2305/09/2013

Pretty much.

by Anonymousreply 2405/09/2013

OP, were you aware that redneck is an offensive term?

by Anonymousreply 2505/09/2013

[quote]Are we to be attacked for each and every topic we bring up?

When your whole thread is an attack of other people isn't that to be expected?

Personally, I think the "escape to the big city from a small shithole town" is a tired old fairytale that holds no merit. Living in the big city may feel like the only real choice to a gay person but it isn't to straight people so trying to say that straight people lead "small lives" by staying in their home town is moronic.

Besides, plenty of people in small towns move there after having travelled or after tiring of the city.

by Anonymousreply 2605/09/2013

Live by the sword, OP.....

by Anonymousreply 2705/09/2013

I was born and raised in N.Y.C. And we couldn't wait to leave. My family moved when I was in my teens. We've lived in suburbs, and very (1 stoplight) small towns. Not everyone wants what YOU want. Good thing too, or you'd never get it.

by Anonymousreply 2805/09/2013

Yea, I got out of there the first chance I got. Since leaving, the town I grew up has become a complete shithole thanks mostly to it being taken over by a religious cult, one where they make lots of babies but never work. They are all on some sort of public assistance. Apparently a few of the people I went to high school are still there. Why they remain is a mystery. They must be gluttons for punishment to stay.

by Anonymousreply 2905/09/2013

OP where did you move to to get away from the "shithole"?

by Anonymousreply 3005/09/2013

OP, you certainly didn't pose it as a discussion, or ask for other points of view.

The way I look at it, people who stayed in my hometown must be doing very well because most people can't afford to live there. Most people I went to high school with (graduating class of about 80 kids so I do more or less know what happened to all of them) are an hour or two away or have moved out of state. Several are in NYC and LA.

by Anonymousreply 3105/09/2013

OP reminds me of a childhood neighbor, Larry. Larry let me suck his dick when I was 11 and he was 14. Of course he blabbed to everyone about it in high school.

News hit that Larry disappeared with a bunch of payroll checks leaving the owner's daughter heartbroken.

A decade later, he knocked on my door. He said his folks weren't home so he decided to visit me.

He excused himself to use my bathroom at least a dozen times. I had to redirect him away from the bedrooms several times.

In between bathroom visits, he made fun of my old kitchen's fake brick and waxed countertops with chrome trim. He just about died laughing at my plaid slip covers and puddly drapes. I finally got rid of him when his folks pulled up.

Three years passed and I came across his wall. He'd lost his job and his apartment. While there were many vacation pictures, most featured his partner, a [bold]much older[/bold] and obese bald man.

Larry's sucking on a fat man's dick just for a place to sleep.


by Anonymousreply 3205/09/2013

I was prepared to stay in my little town forever. All my friends and large family were there and I was not going to leave if I could help it.

Then the draft notice came (1962) and I had no choice but to take leave of my hometown. Instead of waiting for the draft, I enlisted so I would be able to pick the job I wanted to do instead of having it given to me. I was 21 years old and I cried and cried the morning I left. I could not believe that I was going to Ft Knox, Ky for basic training. Eventually, I wound up in Vietnam, so far from Mommy and Daddy and brothers and friends.

I never went back except for rare visits for holidays or birthdays. I found I could take care of myself quite well. Mommy didn't have to do my laundry and fix my meals while I sat at the table waiting for her to dish it up. I survived.

When I went back to visit over the years, I always found the same guys hanging on the same parking meters in front of the same diners and pool halls. They had been older guys who I pretty much idolized for being so "cool." The cool was gone.

I wouldn't trade my growing up time, in that little town, for a million dollars. But I'm glad I don't live there anymore.

by Anonymousreply 3305/09/2013

OP, did you ever stop to think that maybe some people would love to leave their home town, but don't have the financial means of doing so? I'm stuck in my same shitty small hometown and I'd love to leave, but it's not easy to just pick up and move somewhere else with not much money and no job waiting for you somewhere else.

by Anonymousreply 3405/09/2013

I don't know why it is that some people choose to leve the area they grew up in while others can't wait to get away. I was one that couldn't wait to get away. I've lived all over the county and loved it. My brother has lived in the same area, vacationing in the same place my parents did when we were kids and after my parents death buying their house and living it.

I know in times past it was important that there were a few of those people who moved away so that there was as more even spreading out of the gene pool, so maybe the urge to move away is somehow genetic? Even tho the need to move away and deepen the gene pool isn't needed anymore maybe some of us are just hardwired that way?

by Anonymousreply 3505/09/2013

It's not only small towns. I know two sisters in their 70s who never married and have lived in what is now SoHo in the same apartment since they were born. Parents moved in when they arrived from Italy until their deaths.

by Anonymousreply 3605/09/2013

[quote]Rather, I was hoping to initiate a discussion about staying home versus leaving.

Gosh, OP. I'm not sure why your tale of "high-tailing" it out of the "redneck town" you grew up in to become a part of the "big world out there," while others stayed behind in "that shit hole" because it was "easy" and they like having their lives "mapped out for them" didn't lead to the nice, objective, value-neutral discussion you were hoping for. I just cannot imagine how anyone got the impression that you wanted people to validate and applaud your choices while assuring you that those folks back home are losers who are inferior to your big, brave, freethinking self.

I'm 48, and left my hometown for good at 19, but I'm long past believing that my way is the only worthwhile way to live, or that somebody ought to pin a medal on me simply for moving to the big city. And I can listen to people cite valid reasons for remaining close to home without getting all defensive and assuming they think I *don't* love my family or *haven't* put down roots where I live now, or whatever. Life in my hometown is not for me, but plenty of people live happy and fulfilling lives there, and that's fine-- I don't need to feel that they are all losers or sheep or secretly jealous of me in order to feel good about my own life.

In short, OP, grow up!

by Anonymousreply 3705/09/2013

The world of a heterosexual is a sick and boring life.

by Anonymousreply 3805/09/2013

Maybe R35 has something. Of my siblings, 5 have stayed put, and seem pretty happy, while I was the one who had to leave. It wasn't because of anything wrong with my family or hometown, both are pretty great, There was just something in me that made me unhappy living in the same place I grew up in. The world seemed too big not to move around and discover it.I go back and visit about twice a year, and I love going back, but I like living in a place differant than where I grew up.

by Anonymousreply 3905/09/2013

OP, go back and read the tone of your initial post, and you may understand why some people are seeing you as insensitive and silly.

If you really want to start a discussion, I support it, because it's an interesting topic to me (and I'm sure many others). But, you can't get much interest in discussion of this topic if you call your hometown a 'shithole', and talk about how you're 'shocked' that people stayed their whole lives in said shithole.

Anyhow, I come from a pretty small suburban town, and when I was 18 I left for NYC and lived there a very long time. I actually went home for a few years because I missed it, and it was a wonderful time to be back to my roots, despite the fact that I knew that I still felt quite different from the rest of the town. After a few years there, it got the better of me, and I moved to San Francisco, where it isn't perfect but suits me better, and I've now been here for a long time.

I often miss home, so I enjoy my visits when I do go home, but it's always good to get back to SF, which I simply consider another 'home'.

It's tempting at times to look at those who are different and wonder what's wrong with them, or why they didn't do what I did. I get that. But the reality is, I'm the oddball. I think being gay creates a different trajectory, not better, just different. You grow up feeling different anyhow, so you don't have a 'pull' to stay there as you age. Those who fit in and felt comfortable stayed. I understand that completely, and don't judge or wonder about it. Some of them are good friends of mine, and we have a lot to share with each other about how things are different on our side of the fence.

If everyone left their 'shitholes' and moved toward a more cosmopolitan life, just imagine how fucked up the world would be...

by Anonymousreply 4005/09/2013

Thank you for your comments, R37. Should we fight about it, do you think?

by Anonymousreply 4105/09/2013

In all fairness, OP didn't say exactly what his hometown was. How big, how small, how economically depressed, etc. There are towns in this country that, objectively speaking, should probably be abandoned.

by Anonymousreply 4205/09/2013

I get a kick out of how many of them 1) became Teachers (High School 4-ever); and 2) married each other. Esp. people who seem to have nothing in common physically or personality-wise.

One that sticks out is the slut of my class married the son of a hoity-toity family who owned a big funeral business. He was four years her senior and real popular. She was from the wrong side of the tracks.

Still married, she got really fat. But they have gorgeous kids.

by Anonymousreply 4305/09/2013

I don't mind people that "live small" or stay put- whatever floats your boat.

However, it annoys me when they are stuck in a small way of thinking.

Example - all my family stayed put (within a 30 radius from where we grew up). They all not tolerant of anyone else (they're Italian and think anyone that doesn't have a vowel at the end of their name is below them), complain about high taxes (they live in one of the most expensive areas of the country), but don't want to pay city workers a fair salary. BUt they enjoy the inflated value of their homes (way above the national average).

In short, small minds! My guess is that if they got out a bit more, maybe they would be open to learning / enjoying new things (was that the point you were trying to make OP?)

by Anonymousreply 4405/09/2013

Another thing I don't get is why people choose to live in poverty. That mentality is just so foreign to me. Why don't they just get a good job and move to a nice neighborhood? Choosing between living in the projects and a lovely apartment is a no-brainer, seriously.

by Anonymousreply 4505/09/2013

Get a fucking blog.

by Anonymousreply 4605/09/2013

R44 got it right. People from small towns who choose to stay there don't get exposed to different cultures or different ways of doing things -- and there's a reason they don't want to. They're afraid.

These are people who cling to the old ways of doing things, who think there's only one right way to do anything, and who coined the phrase, "Because that's the way we've always done it" as an answer to any "why" question.

People like that can be fun to be around, for a little while. But drop a new idea in their laps and watch them FREAK OUT!!! They're scared and scary. As Obama said, these are the type of folks who cling to their guns and their religion. And yes -- they vote Republican.

They hate change. They hate people who aren't like them. And they especially hate anyone who's escaped.

I don't care what any of you think -- I'm going to judge them, and I AM better than they are. It takes guts to leave one's home. I went into the military to do it (that's free), and was exposed to many types of people and a number of different cultures. I was stationed in Europe, and when I got home, I was willing to take risks and travel and make the changes that had to be made to improve my life circumstances. I love knowing that I had the balls to do a myriad of things that the majority of people never would have had the courage to even try.

Take risks with your life -- it's definitely worth it.

by Anonymousreply 4705/09/2013

Another mealy mouthed queen who thinks he's somehow better than those he grew up with because he wanted something different that what was offered in his "redneck shit hole". Believe it or not OP, you don't necessarily have a better life than they do because you left. You did what was right for you and they did what was right for them. The fact that you can't understand that shows that you're, to put it bluntly, a colossal snob.

by Anonymousreply 4805/09/2013

You couldn't pay me to live in my hometown. There were only 30 people in my graduating class and many are still there. I'm still friends with some, and they seem happy there, so I don't begrudge them.. But sometimes the conversations seem like its still high school. For fuck sakes, 20 plus years later everyone is STILL wondering if that one guy is gay (since I'm the only 'out" person from my class, they always ask me). They are also always planning some reunion of some sort. Pass!

by Anonymousreply 4905/09/2013

While some may move town, a third will stay and most will not move outside their state From Pew More than six-in-ten adults (63%) have moved to a new community at least once in their lives, while 37% have never left their hometowns. Most adults (57%) have not lived outside their current home state in the U.S. At the opposite end of the spectrum, 15% have lived in four or more states.

Of course living in the City is not always great, even in terms of career development, is the local small town doctor or lawyer or accountant better or worse off than someone living in the City on Welfare or a menial job? I know there is more to life than money, career but even small towns need professionals and managers!

by Anonymousreply 5005/09/2013

I live near my small home-town; my mother still resides there.

I don't miss IT; I miss the way I could run around; cut through yards; ice-skate right on the streets and sled down the then-unfenced hills of the town park; play side-walk hop-scotch; and walk to the pool. In short, it was a great place to grow up in.

by Anonymousreply 5105/09/2013

I'm with you OP. The minute I turned 18, I was driving my beat up old Honda towards LA. I've never looked back. My sister still lives in our home town. I love her and I love going back and visiting her, but I don't understand how she stayed there. But, she's happy and that's all that matters.

by Anonymousreply 5205/09/2013

My name is Rhoda Morgenstern. I was born in the Bronx, New York in December, 1941. I've always felt responsible for World War II. The first thing I remember liking that liked me back was food. I had a bad puberty; it lasted 17 years. I'm a high school graduate. I went to art school. My entrance exam was on a book of matches. I decided to move out of the house when I was 24; my mother still refers to this as the time I ran away from home. Eventually I ran to Minneapolis, where it's cold, and I figured I'd keep better. Now I'm back in Manhattan. New York, this is your last chance!

by Anonymousreply 5305/09/2013

When I was 16, I worked my ass off, so that at 18 I could get out of my podunk, assbackward town.

Spent some amazing years in LA, London, Paris, Berlin and NYC.

At 45, I worked my ass off so I could buy a ranch, a lake home and 50 acres so I could retire there :)

by Anonymousreply 5405/09/2013

I've never understood nesting down, having a gaggle of kids, working some dumb job and calling it a life. To me, that's like giving up; saying, "I'm not going to do anything with my life, so here- I'm passing the baton on to you: my offspring. Good luck!".

This is MY life. I'm not a cheerleader for someone else's.

by Anonymousreply 5505/09/2013

I expect your relatives have a similarly uptight attitude to your life R55. Stalemate there, you are just a different version of them.

by Anonymousreply 5605/09/2013

I can't help but feel that those of you who feel the need to put down other people's life choices aren't entirely happy with your own. Why does it matter to you that someone chose to stay in their home town?

by Anonymousreply 5705/09/2013

I left my hometown for 24 years and came back.

Many people I know from here who did the New York – Washington DC – Los Angeles – Chicago thing for employment opportunities also have all come back, over time.

There are a few still "out there."

by Anonymousreply 5805/09/2013

[quote]I high-tailed it out of that shit hole as soon as I could. Not just because I was gay but because I knew there was a big world out there and I wanted to be part of it. I wanted to see and do things and live in big cities and meet interesting people.

We wish you had stayed where you grew up. You never impressed us with your self styled superiority. You judge people just the same as the people you call rednecks.

by Anonymousreply 5905/09/2013

[quote]I've never understood nesting down, having a gaggle of kids, working some dumb job and calling it a life. To me, that's like giving up; saying, "I'm not going to do anything with my life, so here

Kind of like your MOM did??

by Anonymousreply 6005/09/2013

I was home recently and hung out with an old high school friend. He was lamenting never leaving, but he and his wife have a law firm together, have raised 4 beautiful girls, own a huge house in the Texas hill country and have traveled extensively. I assured him that I left because I needed to, not because where I came from sucked. I had to get away from my family to deal with my sexuality. I never looked down on him for staying. He has acheived so much. The fact that I even have such a smart interesting friend from my home town says all there is to know, and this is in Texas! And he's not the only one. I had a lot of good friends who I still see when I go back. Honestly if I was single and was not invested with living in NYC, I'd go back.

by Anonymousreply 6105/09/2013

i definitely needed to leave after high school-it was a very small town, my parents were well known, I always felt others' eyes on me and the need to be "perfect"-which I definitely was not. I left, became my own person, became comfortable with my sexuality, partied like a wild man, became emotionally independent, grew in self-confidence, and discovered loves like the theater, art, and dance. I rarely go home anymore, as my dad passed and my mom moved away, but when I do, part of me is a little envious of those who did stay home. They know pretty much everybody, have retained lifelong friendships, and their kids see their grandparents all the time. I guess a part of me wishes that I was as comfortable with myself and felt like I fit in as much as most as they did back in our youth. On the other hand, had I stayed there I would only know Angela Lansbury from Murder She Wrote and I probably would have never seen any Michelangelo sculptures with my own eyes. But I have never felt any better, or worse, than those who stayed-just different.

by Anonymousreply 6205/09/2013

A guy at work once told us about a woman he knows who is in her mid-40's and "HAD NEVER BEEN TO MADISON"!! We all thought he was kidding...I mean, you could almost WALK to Madison from there...but he swears it's true. He told us she had just never felt the need to go anywhere outside of Waunakee and that Waunakee had everything she needed.

The mother of a friend lived in the Polish area of Cleveland and had never been out of her neighborhood. Although she was born and raised in Cleveland, she did not speak English.

by Anonymousreply 6305/09/2013

R63, that's not uncommon for immigrants to not speak English, particularly in a large community of expats.

I wanted to make another point:

Cities everywhere draw ambitious people because, for the most part, THAT is where economic opportunities are; it's where things happen, and where a society's important people are. It seems obvious to say that, but lots of people who never left their villages are people who indeed COULD have been big, but aren't because they never had the chances. And incompetent people DO make it big in part because they are in the RIGHT PLACE at the RIGHT TIME.

There are additional reasons why they draw gay people (lots of dick, creative arts industries, existing communities of 100% gay people).

by Anonymousreply 6405/10/2013

Wow, OP sounds like a real bitch. I bet the whole town heaved a sigh of relief when he caught the Greyhound outta town.

by Anonymousreply 6505/10/2013

As soon as I was old enough I moved out of my hometown. I always thought I was missing something. Ive lived all over...from Atlanta, to LA, to NY and a few others. While I had some very good times in those places, for some reason I always seemed to go back to my hometown...not because I failed, but because it was comfortable. I realized that pretty much, all places are the get out of them what you put into them. Some people move away to make something of their lives and for the opportunities...alot of people move away because theyre running away from something (usually themselves), some seek the excitement. I know people who have moved away and bash my hometown at every opportunity...but they bash it for the wrong reasons. They bash it because of their experiences, not because of the place.

by Anonymousreply 6605/10/2013

My parents moved us 3 times before I was 18 so I never felt attached to any place. I graduated high school in a town of 5000 in West Virginia but always felt an outsider since I wasn't born there, only lived there 2 years and thought it was just too small and boring anyway. Most people seem to have stayed, however, and have deep family connections in that community.

by Anonymousreply 6705/10/2013

You can stay/be stuck in a crappy little town/city and still grow as a person. I'd like to think that I have.

You can also leave that crappy little town/city and still be as ignorant as the people that you've left behind, like many people from my city who have had no choice but to leave "home" if they wanted to make a living, even a basic living.

Many people from my rustbelt city have left, not to be artists, dancers, and superstars, but just to get a teaching job, nursing job, etc. The poverty rate here is 30 percent (and probably has grown since that stat came out a few years ago) and you have to "know someone" to even get a job in the mail room at an insurance company. We are pinning our hopes on: tourism. LOL!

Anyway, many of my old classmates have left but still cling to this place. You can see it displayed on every social networking site they sign up for. They don't cling to this place because it is a "great place to live and raise a family", they cling because they can be the big fish in a little pond here, instead of being just another beautiful human being elsewhere. They cling because they live in the past. Many would rather be broke here, working 3-4 minimum wage jobs, just so they can run into old classmates at the Walmart on a weekly basis.

Yeah, why am I still here? Because of my stupidity and fear! Growing up here is like growing up in an episode of the Twilight Zone, when I went off to college, I realized just how naive I was,just how naive and stunted people from my hometown are.

Just my 1 cent to the conversation.

by Anonymousreply 6805/10/2013

I should write a TV Pilot/screenplay about this place. Bizzaro World. That might be my ticket out!

by Anonymousreply 6905/10/2013

I left my small hometown for 22 years but I came back a few years ago to help my aging parents.

After moving back, I met the love of my life, who had also moved back to help aging parents.

We bought a small farm and have a thriving is different but not dull.

My father passed away, but I am able to spend time with my Mother and my siblings. We have nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews that are always visiting and inviting us to do things. We've found great friends (straight and gay) so our social life is good.

But mostly, we've found peace with all of the reasons that we needed to leave in the first place.

It was good that we left....and now, we are happy to be home.

by Anonymousreply 7005/10/2013

R70 makes a good, if oblique, point: times HAVE changed.

In my ignorant fucking backwater where I come from, gay people are OUT of the closet. I told a classmate of mine recently, and she was completely unfazed. She talks with me still, and it hasn't changed my relationship with her at all.

In fact, some people there have relationships with others who grew up there, which was quite the revelation to me.

Nonetheless, to paraphase the drag queen friend of mine from Baltimore, "I'd rather DIE than go back home." LOL That's where I'm at.

by Anonymousreply 7105/10/2013

I should embark on a side career as an intuitive or something. Everyone from my home town never had it all then and their FB pages prove they've landed right where they belong.

by Anonymousreply 7205/10/2013

R70 sounds like a wonderful person. R70, I'm very happy for you.

by Anonymousreply 7305/10/2013

I guess it just depends on what small town you come from!

by Anonymousreply 7405/10/2013

Some people stay in the area where they were born and some people leave. It has been that way since mankind has been on this planet. People leave for a myriad of reasons. And remember all non native people in the US are descended from someone who left their home country, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

The typical reason that someone voluntarily leaves their home area is economic: a better life, more opportunity, land, work. Another is freedom from some form of perceived or real oppression, religious, ethnic, sexual, etc. For some the decision to leave is self evident, for others it is not. For some the ties to their home town, home country, extended family are so strong that they will stay when in the face of oppression or economic disaster--they cannot conceive of leaving.

To me that is the most interesting issue.

by Anonymousreply 7505/10/2013

Thank you R73!

by Anonymousreply 7605/10/2013

Mu best friend in High School was an obese girl. An only child, she tried college several times and quit. She flirted with lesbianism but decided it wasn't for her.

She transferred with her state job to the Big City and basically wigged out. When she ended up resigning from her job and throwing her entire apt. into a dumpster, her parents had to come and get her.

She moved back with them and got another state job, and has been there over 20 years. After her dad died she bought a house in an even tinier nearby town. She commutes to work every day about 35 mi. Never married.

Some people don't do well "on the outside".

by Anonymousreply 7705/10/2013

r77, her case may be related to birth order. Only children seem to be either super successful or 'can't cope' types.

by Anonymousreply 7805/11/2013
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