I’ve been finding more and more of my childhood and high school acquaintances on Facebook, and I’m rather surprised that the majority of them are still living in and around the city where we all grew up. There’s a fairly decent concentration in DC, a couple in NYC, but everybody largely stayed pretty close to home. I’m not sure what to make of that. It’s a city that’s not in a good position economically. It’s biggest employers are in real trouble and have laid off significant numbers of the highly educated people that used to fill their research laboratories. I guess I’m not sure why they (my classmates) stayed.
It’s not a bad city. It doesn’t have a high (comparatively) crime rate, and it’s a good place to raise a family. Or it was, anyway, in its heyday. We all came out of a really good high school; upwards of 70% of the students went to college. There’s nothing stopping them from going anywhere. I guess I’m just a little mystified that (maybe?) living very close to family trumped other opportunities. I mean, I’m all in favor of living near family – that’s important. I dunno, I guess I just have the view that living within reasonable driving distance of family is close enough. My parents have never pressured me to stay close to home; they’ve always encouraged me to pursue whatever opportunities I have access to. I’ve never really felt tied to a place, I suppose. I suffer from inertia just as much as the next person – once I’m planted somewhere, I prefer to stay there rather than go through the hassle of relocating. But I don’t feel any loyalty to a geographical location, I guess.
I’m rambling. I suppose, in the final analysis, I wonder what it’s like, to feel so tied to place you were raised that you never leave, even if it might be wiser to do so.