New Castle News

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June 30, 2014

Lisa Madras: ‘Somewhere’ there’s a place for me — sorry it’s just not here

NEW CASTLE — Where else would you like to live? Why?

I'm sure that my answer to this question is going to tick off a lot of people: I want to live somewhere else. I don't know where yet, but somewhere else.

I get into these weird pseudo-arguments with people every time I talk about how I can't wait to move away. It seems that if you don't want to stay in New Castle, New Castlians take it very personally. Besides the fact that that scenario sounds oddly Sci-Fy Channel/Stephen King/utopian-distopia fantasy-novel-creepy, I just don't get that mindset. So I'm going to take a moment to clarify my stance on this subject, and then I'm going to stop defending myself against something I shouldn't have to defend myself against in the first place.

I wasn't born and raised here. In fact, my family moved around so much when I was young that I never really formed too much of an attachment to any one place, ever. If there's some sort of mystical thing inside people that makes them possessive of the town they were born in, I just don't have that — not to here, not to anywhere. So please stop taking it personally.

I've lived in or visited many other places in my lifetime. Some of them I loved, and some of them I didn't. Florida is way too humid and buggy for me. Erie is way too cold and snowy for me. Phoenix is breathtakingly beautiful but I miss the change of seasons when I'm there. Mexico was scary because I don't speak Spanish, and the Canadian climate had me miserable with allergies for my entire visit. That means I wouldn't want to live in any of these places.  But I love everything about New York City, and several places in Kentucky, North Carolina, Maryland, and even some other places in Pennsylvania.

My love of those places has everything to do with me, and not one thing to do with New Castle. So please stop taking it personally.

It's not an offense to broccoli that I prefer Brussels sprouts. It's not an offense to skinny jeans that I prefer yoga pants. It's not an offense to blue that I prefer orange, nor to romantic comedies that I prefer scary movies. I like cats, but that doesn't mean I don't like dogs. It also doesn't mean that I want a dog in my houseful of cats. Please don't take it personally.

Some things just aren't the right fit for some people. (Case in point: Would you want to see me in a mini-skirt and halter top? I thought not.)  Man, this blog really became a rant quite quickly, and I apologize for that. There is a moral to the story though: I admire that you love and feel protective of your little slice of hometown America. That's cool. You're cool. I'm cool.

But one's preference of where they'd like to live out their days has everything to do with them, and nothing to do with you. Be happy for someone whose heart calls them away instead of trying to make them feel bad about their choices.

I'm staying here until my kids both graduate high school because I don't want to move them around and because (gasp!) I like their school and don't believe I could find any better for them. But me? My heart wants to be somewhere else.  

So the next time someone wants to engage me in an argument about why I want to move, I'm not going to defend myself. I'm not going to wear my wants like war paint anymore, because I shouldn't have to. 

For all I know, maybe there isn't a "somewhere" for me.  Maybe my story is about the search for it. Maybe not. But whatever — and wherever — it is, it's mine.  

So please, please, stop taking it personally.


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