Bruce Springsteen has made a career of writing songs about his home town in New Jersey. This is an attractive subject for a lot of people. Home is where the heart is.
For some where they were brought up is a place where they feel they belong. There is no other place where they feel so comfortable. Some spend their whole lives in their home town; Giving up work opportunities to be in their home town: with other family members who have made the same decision.
Look at a family and all the siblings react differently. One comes back occasionally for alumni events. One visits friends and family regularly. Another does not visit the home town at all.
Some children are brought up to move away from their home town by family expectations. Expectations fuelled by education draw children away from their hometown particularly if it is small or remote.
Others run from their home town. A bad family experience, depressed economy, or just being bored makes them move.
Perhaps your home town has disappeared. It is no longer how you remembered it. It ahs changed. Been knocked down. Built over. My City Was Gone.
Some people are considered losers when they live in the same town, street, or even house all their lives.
But are they more content?
Opinions are divided. Living in your home town creates apathy and a parochial view of life. “Are you local”? This view is brilliantly lampooned by the League of Gentlemen.
Or is it sustaining a continuity and ritual to life which transient city dwellers can only dream about. TV Soaps rely on this selling point of family living in the same place with the same people for years.
Is being connected to your home town better for your mental health? Knowing your roots. Knowing where you came from. Knowing who you are. Or disappearing into the urban sprawl to try and hide. Escaping small town life into anonymity. Home Town.
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2013
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Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique.