It has happened to me many, many times: I meet some cool people, we start hanging out, and somewhere after our third or forth coffee date, they tell me they're moving. Sometimes it's to places like Denver or Chicago and other times, it's one of the coasts. Basically, it's anywhere but Iowa. They want to go because they've grown up here, seen what's offered, and are ready to go find greener pastures.
I understand that people have to spread their wings and move away. Who hasn't felt that deep need to lay eyes on new places and unfamiliar faces? I've felt that many times before, but I guess the difference between me and other people is that when I start to feel restless, I go on a trip and I don't move.
So while I understand the motivations people have to leave and find a new home outside of Iowa, I always feel slightly dismayed when people leave. I feel especially dismayed when they're leaving because this place is "boring," "uninteresting," or "it's too small for me, I want to live somewhere bigger."
All of these are valid reasons to leave in search of those proverbial green pastures, but I'm curious if they find their pastures or if they know that they can be happy here? I'm fairly young still, but I've already seen many people leave places they're familiar with because they think being too familiar with a place is some type of hindrance. That's not been my experience, though.
I've found that familiarity (when mixed with a dose of healthy confidence and a little bit of long-term vision) is actually a beautiful ally in life. When one decides to stay in their hometown, it can appear to be the easiest option, but when almost everyone you grew up with has moved on to other places, it doesn't feel easy at all.
It's brave and noble to pack up your life and move to a new city, in search of life, love, and success. That sort of action, I believe, takes risk and intention and I don't want to belittle it because so many people do take that step and find success in other places. On the other hand, it's also brave and noble to stay put and see if the land you've grown familiar with is good soil to plant your dreams in.
It's courageous to leave and pursue your endeavors in unaccustomed Earth, but it's also courageous to learn from the familiar and pursue your endeavors in a place that you know and that sometimes you feel almost knows you, too.
I wish you luck as you go in search of your green pastures. I'll stay here and make my own.