I’ve moved around a lot over the years. The cities I’ve lived in have helped form my impression of life, given me new friends and allowed me to see the world from different points of view. However, as much as I rave about my favourite places, like San Francisco and London, I never talk about the place where I grew up. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent most of my life trying to get away from it.
It doesn’t necessarily follow that I had a bad childhood, quite the contrary. It was just a claustrophobic place. The city itself is part of the largest county in the US, but everything from the shops, to the restaurants, malls and parks seemed so enclosed, as though there was everything and nothing beyond the city limits. It was that desperate feeling of drowning and living and dying in a place like that which prompted me to do everything I could to get away.
When I look back now, I suppose it wasn’t so bad. It was just like living in a sheep’s pen. The people in it where contented enough, living from day to day and very few of the people I knew then ever left. The sad thing is that I can remember small independently owned shops on the main street and big brightly painted schools with giant football pitches, but last time I drove through, my old school was fenced off and looked like a prison, complete with metal detectors. The little bakery, flower shop and furniture store I passed on my way to school each day are boarded up. The mall is a gang haven… Looks like I left just in time. When I drive through southern California, each town resembles the next, all blending into each other.
It’s important to look back on where we came from to try to understand who we are, why we think the way we do and to figure out where we’re going.
Describe where you grew up, for better or for worse. above all, be honest about how you feel about where you hail from and see where it takes you.
Writing Prompt: Origins