It always seemed like the worst option to move away from home, but perhaps it isn't as bad as it seems. If you actually take a minute to separate yourself from your emotions there are a few variables that need to be considered. Yes, your hometown will always have an irreplaceable spot in your heart, but maybe it's time to venture out. Let me start by saying this: it isn't for everyone, rather for those who can conjure up the courage and sense of adventure.
I'm not going to sugar coat it. Leaving home for the first time is brutal and it sucks more than a Nickelback concert, however, trust me when I say it gets better with time. I'm going to break it down into stages.
The first stage is the initial push. That's when you gather the courage to actually entertain the thought of leaving. You begin picking places of interest where you would like to next reside. Everyone has those fantasies of getting out and escaping the hellhole we all rather love, yet hate to admit.
The second stage is the mental preparation. Skipping this step can lead to immediate regret. You must come to terms with the fact that the place you once grew up and made all your memories will itself become a memory. Things become the past and you must be open to the future.
The third step is the move. This is where you finally decided where you are going to live next. You get up. You do it. You take the plunge and you actually do it. Scary, right?
The fourth step is where things begin to get interesting. I call this the ditch. Self-explanatory. This part sucks... a lot, okay a ton. This is where you reflect on your memories, your past, and your friends. You realize that the people that held you together aren't there. Things are unfamiliar, people are strange, and life is frightening.
Then there's the realization. After a month or two, things lighten up. The things that seemed dark bring a new light. The absence of familiarity brings a subtle form of appreciation for the unknown. Friendships form and new memories are made. You can fall into a ditch but you can always climb your way out.
Leaving home will help you grow. First hand, I've experienced that leaving home doesn't mean losing what you once had, rather it means growing on what you currently have. You will always have that special place in your heart for that hometown and you'll always be welcome. When visiting, you realize that things haven't changed, the line is still just as long at that one local burrito place and that light is still just as long on main street.
Don't let people discourage you, people may tell you that you're insane and irrational but you must realize that it's likely that they wish they were in your shoes, about to experience life in a new way. Based on perspective, it may be more irrational to remain in the same place for the entirety of your life. You gain an important strength, you acquire a rare form of independence, and you get to experience more while you can. Life goes by fast and before you know it, you will realize you haven't left the same town that built you. For some that may be a blessing, but I'm challenging you to go out and experience more. Experience what the world has to offer, and don't fear challenge because the outcome may leave you surprised.