A Town Where I Don’t Belong

What do you do when you hate where you live? How do you change your life when you are stuck in a town you want to shake off?

I couldn’t wait to leave my hometown. 


As a kid, I had great big dreams. Dreams that I was sure were bigger than my little hometown. I couldn’t imagine living a life in that small slow-paced city. 


As a senior in high school, I was offered a full scholarship to a local university that my parents made me apply to “just in case.” I didn’t even consider it. I wanted out of there. Now that I’m an adult that has to pay bills and understands what it means to start your adulthood in debt, I regret that decision. But at the time, I couldn’t think of anything worse than spending another four years in the same place. 


A few years later, when I decided to marry a man who was living in the same region as that town, I tried so hard to talk him into moving. 


There’s no future for us here.


This town is dying.


Is this really where you want to live? Raise kids?


There are so many other opportunities out there we should consider. 


But he had bought a house. And he wasn’t motivated to leave what he knew. He was comfortable. I said I would settle for the moment. But I had no long-term plans to live there. Certainly we would move before we would even consider having kids. 


But four years after we were married,I really wanted to have a baby. I mean, as long as we moved before that baby started kindergarten in this school district, it would be OK, right? 


So I brought that baby home to a town I did not like living in. Then I brought another one home. 


And soon it was time to decide on a school for that first baby. He was five and going to kindergarten. And I was still disappointed that we were living in that same town. I didn’t fit there. I never felt at home there. I still wanted to move. But I gave up my job and had two babies at home. I was waiting for my husband to make a decision he was never going to make, no matter how much he knew I wanted it.


So I sent that baby to kindergarten in an OK school. And I had two more babies. And I was stuck even further. Maybe when my kids were grown and I could work full time and pay my own bill. Then I could live wherever I wanted. My secret fantasy of living somewhere fun and exciting kept me going more days than I should admit. 


But there I was. Stuck in that town. Unhappy, but stuck. 

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