Monday, February 18, 2013


After living somewhere else, to come back here is depressing. I am thrilled to see my family and friends. I am happy to have some time to relax, to ignore the day-to-day madness for a while.

But nothing ever changes. Not in a comforting, feeling-of-home sort of way-- I love that things never change in that sense. I mean in the maddeningly oppressive sense.

Photo from Super Scholar
Norfolk has always been that way.

It slowly suffocates people until there is nothing left. Until your dreams have become shells, and you finally discard the remnants. 

I'm not the first to notice this effect it has upon people, and I'm sure I will not be the last; however, I'm one of the lucky ones. I was able to escape while there was still time.

I've only been gone a year, living elsewhere, but it's long enough to notice a difference. I have grown and matured and changed in so many measurable ways over the past year... and no one here has changed a bit. And, with very few exceptions, it's the same attitude of "I can't leave, because I need to be here for a little bit longer to accomplish this, plus I'm afraid. Maybe I'll go one day" ... but if your life is filled with too many "one day"s, you'll eventually wake up to find out you don't have any more.

It's not a problem of people not being able to accomplish things in this economy (although it's difficult), or at this age (although I am young)... it's a problem of being in an environment that smothers you and presents you no opportunities, and that traps you. Add in the fact that generations of people living here have been through the same, and had their dreams crumble before them for years before finally abandoning them altogether as well... and you have the perfect environment for an inspiration-free life.

I wish I could take some of the people I love who are my age, who are like "I can't get anywhere here, but I have to try, and I can't leave because I can't even make something of myself enough to save up enough to feel comfortable leaving," and transplant them somewhere else for a month... a season... a year... long enough to show them that the dreams they've always wanted to chase, are still waiting for them. They just have to take the leap, and actually go chase them. They can't sit back in Norfolk, and expect to ever find them.

The world is out there. It's enormous, and it's incredible, and it's full of inspiring people and breathtaking places... but it's not going to come to you. If you find yourself in a place where the people have become as static as the landscape, maybe it's your hint that it's time to escape while you still can.

No comments:

Post a Comment