And when you realize it, it feels almost like a slap in the face, or at least hurts like that would. Maybe more.
Even simple things, such as being able to climb trees in your yard and not have to wonder if they are on your neighbors property, because your houses are so close. Or being able to get groceries in under fifteen minutes, instead of an hour and a half. These things trigger that same feeling, because the no longer exist in my life.
The number one thing causing me to have this horrible feeling, however, is probably the community I gave up when I moved away from the town I lived. Something about growing up in community makes an impact that lasts forever. Having people that you know you could show up at there house in the middle of the night and they'd take care of you, even though they aren't family, is so special, especially at at my age. When you go to the grocery store, and everyone working recognizes you, it feels really good. Again, that's something I took for granted, until the moment I moved here, and was forced to shop in a place so big and uninviting.
Lately my family and I have been spending our extra time during the week watching The Wonder Years, our favorite show, which follows Kevin Arnold throughout middle and high school. It's so good, comforting even, but has made me miss my small town even more. Kevin's family lives in a community, and he and his friends have grown up and experienced so much together. I miss that feeling of connection with people who, even though they aren't much like me, would be there for me no matter what. The show was set in the sixties, and I think that back then community was more common. It seems to me like now, community is hard to find. There are less places where you can sit somewhere by a road, and be able to count the number of familiar faces you see. Now, where I live, I go into store and don't see anyone from school that I know. There are hardly any family owned businesses that trace back through generations, and even the library has an atmosphere of rigid unwelcoming-ness.
Thirteen is a tough age alone, and surviving it without the love and support of my childhood friends and people I would call family even though we have none of the same blood, is a difficult feat. I've even begun to miss things I never before would have thought were even possible to miss. Things like the bus ride home from school, the post office, boring middle school dances, and lots more. Even characteristic of people that once annoyed me, I have started to miss. On top of all of those feelings of longing for that sense of community, I have to deal with adolescent-moodiness and angst, and the sun deprivation. I guess this isn't the most uplifting post. But these are feelings I need to acknowledge. I've had them bottled up for quite some time.
This is not to say that I don't like the friends I've made here, the good experiences I've had here, or the cool places I've been to here. I do, but this is not a place I could ever be able to call my home.
But moving has helped me in a way, I guess. I have learned so much. I have realized how lucky I am to be part of the family I am in, and that lots of people don't get to grow up in the type of community I did, and that I should not have taken it so for granted.
This picture is not mine, but it is the same as one we used to have on our old refrigerator. I used to read it, before we moved, and not think about it very much. Now, I do. In my opinion, this is an important way of life that should not be forgotten.