I moved out of my parents' house permanently in 2005. In the time between then and now, my hometown acquired its first set of stoplights, and a mechanical bull.
Not even a week after I'd settled into my first apartment, my remaining belongings were packed up, and my old room became my little brother's room, and his old room became the spare bedroom.
And THEN, my mom painted the bathroom orange. Not a bathroomy pink-orange coral shade, not some kind of dark rustic burnt sienna shade, ORANGE. Like a pumpkin.
Even though I spent my senior year there, I still can not get used to the presence of the "new" high school, and when I attended the homecoming game a couple fridays ago, my Blue Devils played a team that was not even in our conference when I was a student.
They say that after you grow up and move out, you can never actually go "home" and they always say it like it's a bad thing... but... I think it's awesome!
There is a lot to love in Evansville. And the fact that it is so unbelievably different from when I truly lived there makes it possible. I cut a lot of ties, dropped the nostalgia that was beginning to feel like baggage, and I just love that I don't come from a town that never changes. When YOU change, and your old town stays the same, it's depressing. It taints your memories when you realize what a dump you really came from and you see how totally insignificant everything you ever cared about actually is. That sucks so bad...
I don't know if I could ever actually live in a small town, but I am BLESSED to live so close to one as dynamic yet quaint and old-timey and hip all at the same time. I love love LOVE Madison, but I'm also extremely proud of where I've come from. It has taken nearly five years to figure this all out, but it was worth the wait.