This entire post was inspired by this caption on Wyn Wiley's Instagram. I know, I know: a blog inspired by a Instagram caption is sooooo 2018. Ha!
But really. Wyn touched on something really relate-able. He talked about wanting to move away from home after graduation. He felt that was the most surefire way to prove himself to the world and to himself. But Wyn didn't move away. Instead, he stayed put and in his opinion, maybe built something more meaningful than if he had moved.
He had this to say,
"Lately I've been thinking: what if the most rebellious thing I could do would be to stay here? To show up for the people around me in my hometown and home state. Try to make a community out of the creatives here. Be the best brother I can be. Be there for my mom. Be someone that a younger me would look up to. It all just has a different more rich taste and it’s one of peace and value and worth and a deep down feeling of being a rebel but with a reason. It feels better in my bones."
Gosh. His words really moved me. In fact, I teared up. I often wonder if I've wasted portions of my life by staying in my home state. I didn't chose to stay here because it's familiar or comfortable. I chose to stay because I believed that I could find success here easily.
I could write a blog and because of the blog, I could get on some press lists. I could host dinner parties, invite local creatives, and they'd attend. I could do a lot of things here very easily. It was that ease that has kept me in Iowa. But sometimes I see friends in other places, doing interesting things with interesting people, and I wonder: am I cowardly for staying?
I'm sure in some ways that answer is yes, but Wyn helped me to remember my reasons for staying. And he's right: there is a certain peace and a certain ease that comes with staying in your home town. Obviously, there's a lot of dumb reasons to stay in a familiar place, but there are wise reasons, too. And I know my reasons for staying and at the end of the day, if it's good enough for me, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. I am a rebel with my own reasons.
We're all brave in different ways. Sometimes it's brave to leave and other times, it's brave to stay.