My Small Town Is Changing
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My Small Town Is Changing

And I don't know how I feel about it.

13
My Small Town Is Changing
Topaz Labs Blog

When you're in high-school, the only thing you want to do is get finished and go to college and "get out of this town."

At that point, you feel suffocated, anxious, and ready to start the next phase of your life, be it college, a job elsewhere, or the military. The ultimate, and unfortunate truth, however, is that once college is over, or that job lets you go, you basically end right back up in that same town, at least for a little while. Once you get back, you start to realize that it's not so bad. There may be people you've dated previously who you would rather avoid, but that's the same as the town you went to college in, and after a while, you learn not to care. While you reside back in your home town, you start to notice the changes, especially if it's a small town. My hometown is a spread out island community, so the changes that have occurred in the past several years are quite noticeable, and I don't know how I feel about them.

For one thing, many of the businesses that I knew growing up are going away. The economy and growth of the town has either allowed business owners to leave and retire, or shut down completely. Walmart now has 2 locations in my town, which threatens many of the other stores that have been here for decades. The town is divided on this issues, as people go to the new Walmart and enjoy it, and others boycott it and continue to shop at the more local establishments.

I've also seen attempted expansions of the islands. Our roadways have been under construction for several years, and they've caused more problems than they've solved. Our bridges NEED to be looked over and repaired, rather than opening another Starbucks. Our beaches need to be kept from eroding away, but we "need" another hipster food joint.

I understand that I will be gone from this town in the near future. I understand that I will be visiting at Christmas and the other major holidays. I will visit my parents and my nephew as he grows up here. But for the life of me, I just want to come back to a place that I recognize. I want to bring my kids to places that I've visited since I've been here, to the beaches I visited, to the restaurants that I've spent many a time in. I know that towns change. Things change. That's the way it goes. But how far can you go before you alter the very being of the town? How far can you go before you don't even recognize your home?

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