I don't go back to my hometown very often, mostly for holidays and birthdays and that's it. It's not like I moved cross country or anything, I grew up a little over an hour from where I live now. It's not like I don't like my family- they all have a great sense of humor and every single one of them can cook. I like my parents' property as well... it's all forest, wetlands and prairie which they've put a lot of work in on and it's quite lovely... I just feel really uncomfortable going back to my hometown and home county because it's as depressing as fuck
I grew up outside of a small town in a farming community... most people who had good jobs had jobs at the auto factories in the area which went the way of most auto factories in the midwest... away. You can SEE the poverty when you go through town... houses boarded up with abandoned cars in the front lawn, house trailers with broken foundations, about half of the handful of businesses that were there closing for lack of business... and almost worse you have the people who have been in that situation for many more years, since the family farming era collapsed... farmsteads with barns in dire need of a new roof, farmhouses with plastic over the windows because heating is expensive and new windows are not in the budget, tractors left over from the '60s that are kept running on good repair... the effort that's put in to maintain what little is left makes my skin crawl in a way
Occasionally I'll stop by a local business over the holidays- picking up a forgotten item at the last minute or putting gas in the car- I'll run across someone I went to high school with, someone who had seemed bright, like they had a future and they're ringing up my fucking groceries... they got stuck in the event horizon of the town, unwilling to leave those and that which they know... they make small talk and I feel awkward because I DID get away and haven't really kept in touch with anyone... the worst is when I get asked about "life in the big city"... I don't feel like I fit... but then again, I never did
I guess it just makes me question the meaning of home a bit with the holidays and travel coming up... is your home where you're from or where you made it? what is home? are roots important and should they be maintained or can you move on? does anyone else feel incredibly uncomfortable in their hometown?