Once you understand the reasons why you left, it's easier to embrace the place that watched you grow.
Let's start with the truth: I never understood why I hated my hometown.
I can't remember a time where I wasn't yearning to leave my suburban hometown. The weather was warm, but tolerable. The people slightly gossipy, but friendly otherwise. The town quiet but with plenty of things to do on the weekends.
The more time I spend away from it, the more I understood the reasons why I left. And while I don't regret them, I made peace with them. Which in return has made the time I spend each year visiting a lot more enjoyable and meaningful.
Stay Connected to Your Friends from High School
This had me all the difference for me. While I don't text or call often when I'm away, I always make an effort to see my childhood friends when I'm back. Even though when we meet it feels like we've all grown to become such different people, we'll always have our memories to unite us. Having people to come home too is important and necessary.
Make an Effort to Do Things Your Parents Enjoy
The hardest thing of coming back home is changing my routine. For the most part, it's the routine I was used to when I was fifteen. Ten years late, I eat when I'm hungry, I sleep when I'm tired, and I leave and come back as I please. Reminding myself that my parents have a routine and that me honoring that means a shit ton to them, has encouraged me to make an effort to adhere to it.
Spend Time Re-Discovering Places You Know
It took one of my best friends visiting for me to realize how nice the beach in my town is. Now, take weekly trips, where I write, read, or do work on the beach. There are still places left for you to discover here, or better yet, places you know that you need to rediscover now that you're older.
Don't Be Afraid to Fit in
A part of me wishes I could be the same person everywhere I go, but that's not the truth. Whether I'm surrounded by friends or family, I go back to the kid who once saw this town as permanent. I let loose and talk about things that I used to be obsessed with years ago. While I might not be as invested in them anymore, they make me reminisce about my teenage years and what I used to love then.
We Always Ends Up Coming Back to the Places Where We Loved Life
It doesn't matter what your reason for coming back is or how long you're planning to stay. Hold on to what once made you happy here. Grasp on to the moments that gave you serotonin. Remind yourself about the times you told yourself that this town wasn't all so bad.
Dig deep. I believe we all have those memories.