Change is Inevitable

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This past week I spent a lot of time in town with a friend who was visiting from Texas. He had lived here previously so the area wasn’t completely new to him. There was one thing he kept saying for the first couple of days though that really stuck with me. He kept talking about how the area of Terre Haute and/or West Terre Haute had changed since he had left. He left the area about three years ago so it’s no wonder things had changed. He kept expressing how he didn’t know where anything was anymore or gawking at the new or different things.

The thing is though, I never really thought about how so many things have changed in the past couple years. I had watched the restaurants and stores be built or rebuilt so I knew what it had and would look like. So the concept of things being different had never occurred to me until he had said something about it. The idea of things changing around never seems to occur not until someone who’s been away for a while comes to visit and they need help maneuvering around the city again.

He stated that “It’s my home town, but it doesn’t feel like home anymore.” This statement seems so important, because it is true in a good and sad way. He recognizes that Terre Haute is his home and always will be but for him it’s frustrating because it’s not the way he remembers it to be. I find this intriguing because I still feel like it is still home it may have changed but it’s still home and I don’t really feel uncomfortable navigating the area. But watching him navigate the area was sometimes a struggle to watch. He got frustrated at one point because he remembered a certain coffee shop being in one place but when we drove by it wasn’t there and that seemed to frustrate him.

It seems odd the way things change and the people who live in the area don’t seem to notice it as being different. But then a former resident comes back in town and everything is suddenly brand new to them and people realize how different things truly are. It also amazes me that even though change can be a good thing some people become frustrated with the reality that it’s not the place they used to know. People become so stuck in their ways of doing things that the moment something changes it make them feel uncomfortable. I believe change can be a great thing and that it needs to be embraced. Maybe by starting this website about Terre Haute it’ll promote positive change for the future.

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” – Gail Sheehy

Photo Credit: Pinterest

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5 thoughts on “Change is Inevitable

  1. The truth of this hit me hard and I wasn’t expecting it. I’m a person who lives in nostalgia more often than not. Don’t get me wrong, I love that we are seeing great changes in our hometowns, but there are times, when I miss how things used to be when I was a child. But I find that I’m more nostalgic toward events and activities that my family used to do (and no longer do) than I do about my hometown and I think it’s because with all of these changes, we’re finding amazing ways to connect to each other and build on the foundation of community we’ve already established. Sure, I miss the Popcorn Festival we used to have during the summer, but I know that we have many more great things starting up that will more than make up for that loss.

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  2. I definitely agree with both you and Karen. It is such a strange thing for me to go home now because every time I go home it seems like there’s something different. Like Karen, I tend to live in the nostalgia that my hometown brings. Change is definitely an amazing thing, and it shows that Terre Haute is growing, but it is definitely disconcerting as well when you leave and come back expecting things to still be the same.

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  3. Your friend’s comment that his hometown no longer feels like home is both heartbreaking and wonderful. No one wants to feel like the place they know as home is suddenly alien to them, but when that change is the result of something great happening you can’t be too sad. Maybe that’s just my perspective from the outside but forward progress will always, or should always, be a welcomed sight. Maybe more former Hautians should come home and be part of that change or else Terre Haute will be completely unrecognizable to them.

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  4. It’s heartbreaking that your friend didn’t feel like this was home anymore, but in someways this is good. It’s nice to hear that Terre Haute has changed over the years, but like you said we don’t really notice it happening. Like when you look at an old photo of yourself, or a friend, and realize how much you have changed. We don’t notice it while it’s happening. We only see it when we stop and take a moment to acknowledge it. This is what our website is going to be doing. In a way we are the photograph that people are taking the time to stop and look at for a minute to see how much we have changed.

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