I’m still out town, as we extended our stay in my Pennsylvania hometown a few extra days (side note, I’ll get around to replying to comments. I haven’t been online for more than 10 minutes a day lately, so thank you for your patience and continued support). Though I lived here for 22 years I forgot what humidity is like – I walk around all day with the sticky feeling as though someone sprayed me head to toe with soda pop.
I moved away four years ago, by accident. Sorry if I’ve told this story too many times on here – after college I loaded my VW van with a mattress, surfboard and bike and traveled for 5 months. I really thought I’d return after the trip and maybe go to seminary or travel abroad – but I ended up in Oregon and didn’t return home for 15 months, and that was only to say visit some family and collect the remainder of my stuff.
I think for me, I would never have become truly who I am had I not left. If I had stayed in Pennsylvania I’d so easily just do what I’ve always done. But when you leave and take up life in a whole new place you start fresh – and can do what you truly want to. You have no habits to fall back into – in fact you’re forming brand new ones. And for that reason I think everyone needs to leave – even if they do come back – just so they can become who they are.
It’s always bizarre to be back home – though my time here was far longer than I’ve been away it’s like I’ve forgotten my time here. I am very disconnected from who I was here. Looking back I can see little hints of where I’d go in the person I was here, but they were always little flashes as I had the way I’ve always done things to fall back into.
I think we spend most of our lives trying to be comfortable, when it seems comfort is the death of a soul. We need to be shaken and moved and stretched. We claim faith be a living thing but it easily falls into the traps of routine and tradition, which is why so many stories in Scripture are of God doing a cannonball into our little baby pools.
Did you leave your home town? What did you learn from leaving? Is your faith very traditional? What are the pros and cons of that?