I Couldn't Wait To Get Out Of My Hometown, And Now I Can't Wait To Go Back

I Couldn't Wait To Get Out Of My Hometown, And Now I Can't Wait To Go Back

I was just a small town girl who couldn't wait to see the world.

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For the majority of my life, I have lived in a small town in northern Arizona. As I got older it seemed as if my town got smaller.

All that I could see in the town were negatives. It looked ugly, felt small and filled with terrible people. Yes, I was bullied throughout elementary, middle school and high school, but that is not the story I am here to tell.

Needless to say, I was ready to get the heck out of that town and move on to bigger and better things. I wanted to meet new people to be in new places with bigger opportunities. That is exactly what I did, and I would not change it for the world. I moved to the city of Phoenix to go to college and pursue what I am most passionate about.

For the first year that I was away from home, I wanted to stay away and never go back. I hated going back for Christmas break or visiting at any point. When people would say they were taking a trip to my hometown I would always question "Why would you want to do that? It's so ugly and there's nothing to do there" All I had towards my hometown was negative emotions and maybe even a bit of anger.

After being away for about three years now, my perspective has completely changed. I have nothing but love for my hometown, its beauty, and the sentimental value that it holds. Every time I visit, I stare at the beautiful mountains and stare at the sunsets and visit the local shops as much as humanly possible. Adventuring around my hometown whenever possible has become my new favorite thing to do.

At the end of the day, it is where I am from, where I grew up. Yes, there are bad memories, but there are also so many good ones, like dad racing the train on the way to school, or mom letting us stop for ice cream every Friday after school to celebrate the end of the week or walking around downtown with friends in high school thinking we were cool.

It is the little things that you learn to appreciate. It might take being away from something for you to truly appreciate it. It is true when people say that distance makes the heart grow fonder.

I hated my hometown for the longest time, but now I visit every chance I get. Even if I am no longer living there, it will always hold a piece of my heart.

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The Family I Didn't Know I Needed

To so many, our in-laws and spouse's family can be so annoying and frustrating, but to me they are the biggest blessing.

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I've known my wife for a very long time (since we were a little under 2 years old), and I've known her family for just as long, although not quite that well. I knew of them would be more accurate.

When we started seriously dating (not like middle school dating where you get dropped off at a theater and you're scared to death), I was introduced to her entire family. And it's big.

Look, I come from a small white family, because almost all of my grandparents passed before I arrived. I've never been used to massive families, crowded Christmas', or stuff Thanksgivings and reunions. I've never known really what it was like to be showered with love and gifts and opinions. I also never had to figure out what cousin or aunt or uncle everyone else was talking about.

That is not to say that I wasn't loved or blessed growing up. My family (and loved ones from all around the country) took care of me and loved on me so much, and for them I am forever grateful. I also had my church family (my Dad is a Pastor) that literally raised and supported me, and were always there. So please, do not think I am complaining.

I guess what I'm saying is that I just wasn't ready for the acceptance and love that was going to be shown to me from my wife's massive family. It caught me off-guard.

All you hear about is how hard it is to get along with another family and dynamic, but mine couldn't have been more simple and easy. Sure, we really standout. The average height for her immediate family is like 5'6 or so, and I'm 6'4, so you can always tell I'm the married-in one.

But, if I think about it, if I raised and loved on my wife like they did, I'm not sure I would be so okay with another guy jut waltzing into the picture. If I have a daughter (and I really do), it might be hard to invite another BOY into the family. So, I completely understand where they might have had difficulty. But I especially appreciate the love they chose to show me instead.

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