For decades now this mantra has been quietly chanting in the background static of my soul. Sometimes louder, sometimes the merest whisper of a thought.
I thought I had it under control.
Intellectually, living in the city vs hometown has so many important benefits.
The City people are less narrow minded. I'm not saying people from my hometown are closed minded, it is more that they lack the opportunities and experiences to be highly aware of all the differences in our world. A lot of my peers did travel and live elsewhere, then very sensibly moved home with now wide open minds.
There is SUCH a massive number of people in the city, 3 million vs 14 thousand is a big difference. This means that if you keep searching, you can find people like you, people who want to share the activities you find fun, whether it's card making, car restoring or circus training. So many more adventures to be lived in the city.
When you have a life policy of not dating anyone who has dated your friends, this can lead to a shortage of available people in a small town by the end of year 10. Especially when you are related to so many people in the town.
For my child, she is near so many different schools and after school activities. If she wants to go to University, she doesn't have to move to a college where she is totally isolated from all she has known before and the food is so terrible that her digestive system pretty much shuts down. Oh yeah. That was fun.
The shopping is better in the city. SO much better.
The city is Trickey's home and he will never leave here. I really quite like being with him.
Emotionally, Hometown has some very strong points in it's favour.
The air is clean. It smells like the sea.
There is so much space. I feel very crowded in the city.
It has many rivers and beaches nearby. I grew up on the water (literally on the water during holidays!) and I miss it so much.
Less allergens floating about in the air.
That town is my home and always will be my home.
After 18 years in the City, I was getting close to convincing myself I could call this City home. Then I went back. For one day. Visited one of my closest friends who has never judged me. Visited my Aunt. Breathed the air. Walked the streets. (sniggers)
Now. That whisper quiet mantra in my soul, it's wailing like Kate Bush singing "Wuthering Heights" set to volume 9. Makes it hard to think...
A conversation I had with Mum, when she was down here for the funeral, says it all, though.
"I never intended to stay in the city. I was going to finish Uni and go home. I fell in love with a City Boy, whose career is here and so I stay here. With Him. And now, this place is my daughter's Hometown."
But I might go home this weekend. Or next. Just for a visit.