Why We Leave

I've made countless memories over the course of my 20 years on this earth, half of those have been during my time here at The University of Georgia. See, I'm not from here. My home is 2,500 miles northwest of Athens, in the small quiet Christmas-loving town of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Unheard of and unknown, my first few months in Georgia were tough ones. I felt alone and different. Because of my lack of common ground, I sought quality conversation with new friends, something that caught most off-guard. I wasn't talking about the weather or about high school, I was talking about life goals and interests and what makes them, them.

People didn't take to that too easily at first, but it was through my constant awkwardness and uncomfortable lunches that I found friends. True friends who did not care about where I came from or what my past entailed. They only cared about my future and who I was then and there, because that's what I let them see within me. I did not let them see the homesick, lovesick, mess of a 18 year old that was counting down the days until she could board the plane and return to comfort and commonality.

I was a miserable, negative person at first, before 'the change', as I call it. The change was uncomfortable and awkward conversation with strangers; late-night heartbroken tears over high school love ending as quickly as it started. The change was jumping into college, wholeheartedly without reservation. The change was leaving my past and leaving my home behind in search of my future. The change was looking forward.

That is why we leave comfort - home, family, friends, because being uncomfortable leads to unprecedented turmoil in your life. At some points you feel like you will always feel that hole in your stomach, but slowly it starts to heal and after a while, you forget it was ever there. That turmoil turns into a fire that burns inside of you, that motivates you, that sets you free towards pursuing your goals.

That is how we change. That is why we leave.