I see it everywhere, all the time.
“I’m so tired of [insert hometown, home county, or state].” “Can’t wait to get out of here.” “Back in [x] for 10 minutes and I’m ready to leave.” “I hate living here,” and on and on. There are people endlessly pining to be anywhere but where they are now.
True, where you’re at right now might not be the most exciting place on earth. There might be a single grocery store or a few supermarkets. There might be one restaurant or hundreds. There might be a single watering hole or a thriving entertainment district. The fact still remains:
Happiness is not a place.
There’s no location, no matter how intriguing or bustling, that can bring you happiness or fulfillment.
I come from a tiny town in Alabama. There are just under 1,000 voters, so we’re not exactly a bustling metropolitan hub of excitement. There’s a single grocery store (plus a Dollar General if that counts?), a single fast food restaurant, and a single gas station. There’s not much to do, to be quite honest. Trust me. I get it.
What I don’t get is why so many people, especially young people, hate their hometowns. Most people from my area are dying to leave. They think their current location is just a stop on their way to a bustling city with things to do and people to meet. But I feel like I should let them know. You read the title, but I’ll reiterate it again:
You won’t be happy anywhere if you’re not happy in your boring, little hometown.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to travel, or even live somewhere else. I’d love to see every inch of Creation that I can. I want to taste all the food, hear all the music, and live all the culture the world has to offer.
I could do all of that twice and still be unhappy, though. You have to learn to be content, no matter your situation, and no matter your location. Abound and abase.
I love living in Birmingham when I’m at school. There’s tons of music, food, parks, events, and new places for me to experience. But I also love living in my hometown. It’s a little slower paced, for sure. But it’s not a toxic hole of monotony to be escaped; it’s the potter’s wheel that helped mold me into who I am. There’s beauty there just like there is anywhere else.
You absolutely cannot wait for your life to begin or to improve once you move out of where you are. You can have a fulfilling life right where you are. You should have a fulfilling life right where you are.
The change of scenery, the different people, the happenings of other places are just distractions. Those things can keep you occupied, entertained, and satisfied for a time, but that new place you once longed for will soon be as old and worn out as the one you left.