I feel I can say this as someone who is from a relatively small town, someone who has lived in other countries and someone who comes from a place where most people don’t leave.
By staying in your hometown you never grow, you never change and you never challenge yourself.
You might think you are, but you’re not. I can promise you the people, especially the guys, I used to hangout with in high school are still doing the exact same things they used to do while they were in high school 7 or 8 years ago.
I can tell you their mindsets haven’t changed much, I can tell you they still have the same narrow-minded tunnel vision views of the world and that they’re never going to change. It’s blasted all over their social media.
I used to love them, I used to drop everything just to hangout with them because I thought they were so great. I used to think that my world wouldn’t continue unless they were part of it because to me I thought they were such a fun group of guys who always wanted to have fun and do stupid shit. And when I was 16 that sounded like everything I could want out of life.
But the problem with them is they’re still the same group of guys with the same mindset who always want to have fun and do stupid shit.
They never grew up.
They were never forced to grow and change, and they didn’t want to. They wanted to keep it simple, keep it familiar in the same place they were born and raised in small town USA.
They wanted to keep going to the same fishing spots they’ve gone to for years, they wanted to stick to that union job they got out of high school or trade school. They wanted to stick around for whatever the reason was, maybe fear of failure or fear of having to be accepting of the other parts of the world.
There is nothing wrong with wanting that lifestyle. Hell, I used to think I wanted to stay in my hometown forever and keep the same friends forever and eat at the same restaurants because it was all I knew.
But when you never leave, that’s still all you’ll ever know.
Where is the challenge? Where is the push to help you better understand the world you live in and your fellow humans? Where are you learning about other cultures and different values? Where are you learning to make yourself uncomfortable and grow? Where are you learning how to be a better human and contribute to the world?
I can tell you it isn’t from the same fishing hole you’ve been casting into for years.
Home is good and home is important, but the fact of the matter is home will always be there. Home isn’t going anywhere. If you leave you can always return and it’s important you do because then you can see the world you’ve been living in for so many years through a different lens.
But you should leave, if you care about our country at all, you’d leave your hometown.
Leave it for longer than a vacation, leave it and really learn about the way the world works. Really put yourself out there in an uncomfortable position because once you’re uncomfortable you’ll start to change.
You’ll start to see the things you’ve been continuously doing since you were 16 just aren’t as fun anymore. You’ll start to learn that skin color means nothing. You’ll start to see that it doesn’t matter what sexual preference people have because it in no way directly affects you. You’ll start to see the way others live and become humbled. You’ll start to see how hard women work and that minorities aren’t bad people, in fact they can be some of the nicest people if you just give them a chance.
Leaving your hometown means you’ll be forced to meet new people and listen to their views. You’ll learn things about other’s cultures that will blow you away and maybe even make you uncomfortable. You’ll learn so much and that knowledge and those experiences of the new people you cross paths with will change you in a good way.
The best thing you can do for yourself is leave your hometown, go out in the world on your own without the comfort of your friends and family, without the comfort of knowing where every road will lead.
Once you walk in your own direction you will experience the change you never knew you needed.
Stop following the same path you’ve been on your whole life and create a new one. Push yourself and challenge yourself, don’t settle for a mediocre life because the world has so much more to offer you if you’re just willing to let it in and learn from it.