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6 months ago

What you see after you leave and come back : Hello! NJ born and raised (Cliffside Park, specifically). I was going through a really rough time in my life and took college as a chance to move to Chicago, thinking that the emancipation from NJ would solve my personal problems. Obviously, it didn't. In Chicago and suburbs I found a place with things to like - food's pretty good and junkyards supply a lot of cheap car parts. Eventually I got screwed by some guy over some money and took the moral injury as a reason to come back home for the holidays. I realized a couple of things I missed dearly from northern New Jersey: Diversity. I never had to drastically alter the way I act around people of different backgrounds, while in other places (my experience, Chicago/Midwest) it's almost required because people don't mix and are drastically different because of it. This is a major thing! We get to learn from each other and see what other subgroups do best. Everyone benefits. Without this, what I see is people stew in the specific failures/benefits that their subgroups are prone to. People like me - I'm Russian and Jewish. There's more Jews in Fort Lee than in Chicago! I can actually find Old World food all over the place, even in my hometown supermarket. A sort of honesty in interaction. When people get mad over here, it shows and passes. A good "fuck you" from both sides and life is normal again. Of course, there's the things I think come with being back in your hometown - the nostalgia, the feeling of everything being where you left it, not feeling the upward battle to fit in, etc.. Nowadays all I want to do is be back home. Has anyone else had a similar experience? ​ Full Article

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