I lived away from my home town for 13 years. I moved away to go to college in upstate New York right after graduating from high school. I choose the University of Rochester for a lot of reasons. One of which was that it was a 6 hour car ride from my home town. At 18, I wanted to start over. At 22, I decided to go to law school in Boston. I was closer to home but I wasn't going to run into people in the supermarket, if you know what I mean. I stayed in the Boston area for 9 years.
When my older daughter was 13 months old, my husband and I moved our family back to my home town. I missed my parents and I wanted them to be a bigger part of our daughter's life. I didn't know it then but I missed my old friends too. Part of the reason that I didn't go to college closer to home or return home for the 9 years after college was, I thought, because I wanted to start over. I didn't.
I love having some of my friends from elementary - high school back in my life. I love the memories that we share and the trust that I have in them. If I need a doctor referral or someone to watch my girls then I know who to call without a second thought. I enjoy watching their children grow up and I am grateful that our children are friends.
I guess, when I think about, that it is not a surprise that I am friends with these old school friends again. We were friends for a reason way back when.
What I find interesting is how connected I feel with other people from the area. There's a shared history here. I'm comfortable. Today, I was talking to a friend I met about a year ago. She is not from this area but, it turns out that her mother is from this area. And her mom grew up with my mom and they were great friends. Now we are and so are our kids.
All of this - the family, the old friends and the new friends - were worth coming home for.