When Your Hometown Moves on Without You

If you’re like me, you spent a majority of your life living in the same town. I lived in the same house, shopped at the same places and had my favorite restaurants and ice cream shops. I could have driven the winding roads with my eyes closed. Even in the time I went away to college not much changed.

But in the last 4 years, I’ve moved twice and I’ve reached that point where I think my hometown has moved on without me. How can a place I lived for roughly 23 of my 27 years feel so unfamiliar?

Huntington has new shops and new restaurants. Some of my favorites have either moved or closed. The road I drove several times a day now has a turning lane. My house looks like a touristy Gatlinburg store. Roads have changed, trees have been torn down, buildings have been built. Some parts of the city don’t look anything like I remember. I would even go as far as saying Huntington has a different vibe than it used to.

These changes aren’t necessarily bad things – they’re just different. It’s weird having one image in my mind and a different one in front of me. But thankfully one thing remains the same, and that’s the people I left behind. They might look older, be wiser, live different lives than before.. but they’re there. And that’s the one thing that makes it easier to go back for a visit.

See you tomorrow, WV.

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