I've lived in the same area my whole life. With the exchange of one or two city borders, I'm still around the same culture and the same people. Most may not see this as a problem, but I rarely get the opportunity to leave this area to see what life is about beyond it. Most see this as a huge problem, myself included.
Recently I had to good fortune to take a trip to Ithaca, New York. There I stayed with some folks on the Cornell campus at the Telluride house. I had taken a trip there to visit my homie Emily Terry, and also to scout out the area to see if it would be somewhere I want to live. Honestly, anywhere feels better than where I'm at now. I feel like my life in this town is a detriment to my mental health, that it holds me back from my dreams and keeps me suppressed and depressed mentally.
It's never felt like home. Ithaca didn't feel like home either, but it certainly didn't feel as bad as here. Would I want to live in Ithaca? Truth be told, no. The culture there just isn't me. There's nothing wrong with the culture at all, it's just not the place I'd want to call home. However, it taught me that in my quest to leave where I'm at, I had forgotten to look at the good things I have here over elsewhere.
When you're so focused on the bad things, you don't notice the good. This is a basic concept most of us can point out to others, but when applying it to our every day life it is incredibly difficult. Did Ithaca feel more comfortable for me because it truly felt like a better place to be? Or was simply the "Grass is always greener" mentality? Is anywhere but here really what I want?
No. I don't know where I would want to live honestly, because I've never had the fortune to go out and experience enough places to know for certain where I would feel most at home. How can I say for certain that this place is so bad? Coming back from my trip, the area seems to have a different feel to it. It's not a feeling of home, it's a feeling of understanding what it's really like.
I've gained a perspective beyond this one, and it causes me to rethink the way I look at the place I live. So what does this mean for the future? Would it really be a good idea to pick a place I've never been as my next place of residence? I have no idea. However, I do know that the act of changing spaces would provide me with perspective on my life beyond what I already have.
So even if I leave and end up hating it more than where I'm at now, I'll have perspective to understand why what I had in the first place was good. That in itself is worth the adventure out!