“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”
Saturday night (or early Sunday morning) I returned to Provo from a short trip home to Tennessee. Okay, so I guess ten days isn’t exactly a short trip, but it’s the shortest visit I’ve ever made to Franklin. When I go home, I usually go home for at least two weeks.
It was a wonderful trip, mostly because I was surrounded by my family. Except for my brother-in-law, everyone was there. Including my brother’s fiance! This family just keeps on growing and growing. There’s twelve of us now – quite the crowd. We had fun driving to Virginia, seeing touristy sites like Carnton Plantation, and hitting up all the usual destinations like Sweet Ceces and the neighborhood pool.
I enjoyed myself a lot. But there was something different about the whole trip that I couldn’t quite put my finger on at first. The dynamic had changed in some way.
And one day after talking to a friend I realized what it was.
Franklin is not home anymore.
Now, let me assure you that Franklin is still home in a few ways: Franklin is still a gathering-place for my family, it’s still the place that I grew up, it’s still full of tender, loaded memories, etc. However, Franklin is no longer home in the sense that I have a life there.
Because I really don’t.
That was heartbreaking to me. I love my hometown more than possibly anyone else on the planet could ever love their hometown. Realizing that it’s not my home anymore was like a punch straight to the gut. Franklin has always been a haven for me, a safe place. A sanctuary, even. I know what to expect from it. Those thunderstorms that seem to creep up out of nowhere? Yeah, I knew from the moment I rolled out of bed that we’d be getting rain. Downtown Franklin dead on a Thursday night? No, just wait a couple of hours and all the young adults with nothing better to do will bring out their guitars and ukeleles and it’s a whole different scene. The people, the places, the weather…none of it’s ever a surprise to me.
And now I live in Provo full-time. Six months passed between my last two visits to Franklin. I have a life here: work, school, friends, maybe even a boy (haha). Come August, all my siblings will live in Utah!
It’s scary for me to accept that home is here, where I am, and that my life has shifted from what it was to something new and different. If, as a rising senior in high school, I’d predicted where I’d be in three years, I never would have dreamed up any of this. Honestly, I thought I might be married by now (it is BYU, after all, and we all know about my school’s reputation for early marriage). I thought a million other things, too, that never happened and probably never will happen now. I thought a lot of people would still be in my life whom I’ve not spoken to in months or even years.
When I think back on what I wanted then and what I have now, I realize that almost none of it lines up. That worries me sometimes, but I’m discovering more and more that even if I don’t have what I wanted in the old days, I think I have what I want right now.
So I guess it’s appropriate that as my dreams and my goals and my desires change, my home changes too. Franklin has a special place in my heart – it always will, and maybe someday I can return for good. That would be wonderful. But for now I’m opening myself up to new possibilities, new destinations, new dreams. And that’s pretty exciting.
Don’t be afraid of letting go what feels safe and latching onto something better.
- A New Kind of Summer (thehappinesscomplex.wordpress.com)