*I am sharing this oldie but goodie from a few years back for the first day of Blogtober!*
When I talk with people from college or grad school or summer camp and they ask where I live and I say Wilson. Yes, my hometown. Yes, where I grew up. Yes, where everyone knows your name. Some may find that boring, unappealing or the opposite of taking a risk. I don't. I love running into an old family friend at Target that enjoys sharing stories about the crazy things I did as a baby. I enjoy catching up with a high school friend that I run into at the park. Eventually our kids end up at the same school and take the same path in friendship that we shared. And yes, I actually like reminiscing with my former middle school principal at the local barbecue restaurant about the time he suspended me for switching classes with my identical twin sister. I also have my family here- for advice, for support, for a ride to the repair shop to pick up my car, for help getting a stain out of my husband's favorite shirt, and YES, for childcare.
But on a professional level- it's easy to be successful in the town you grew up in. Your hometown is a wealth of resources of people that love you and want to see you succeed because "I have known her since she was born!" When I plan an event I text a friend that I went to high school with to help me with the equipment. Not only does he help me pick out what I need and deliver it himself, but he also sets everything up and runs sound for the event. When I post something onto one of the business Instagram sites I manage I can always count on that sweet mother of the kids I used to babysit to like or comment. And finally, when I am talking with someone about a potential opportunity I have so much pride when I find out that my Grandfather built their home.
Sure there will always be that old neighbor lady that you worry despises you because you used to pick on her cat and steal goldfish from her outdoor pond. But when she smiles with pride 20 years later and talks about how you far you have come you and how proud she is you can't help but laugh it off.
So, to those who didn't move back home that think I settled. To those that think we have a slower pace life down here. I am grateful to have married the man of my dreams who also chose to move home after graduating from UNC. He has been successful in business because of who he used to know. I am thankful for the former employer I worked for at 16 years old that took a chance on me and let me work for her from home when my first child was born because I didn't want to return to work. And finally, I love that one of my closest friends today is a former classmate and is a constant source of parenting advice, hand me downs for the kids, and friendship. She also lives right down the street.