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
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