Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pondering Propinquity

We live in a transient society. According to an on-line statistic from 2008, 37% of Americans live in or near the hometown where they grew up. Which means 63% of all Americans move away. In my research for that number, this vocabulary lover learned a new word -- propinquity. It means the property of being close together. Five years ago, I joined the ranks of that 63%. What does it mean to move away? What are the implications? For me, it meant leaving my family and friends, foregoing the familiar and embracing the fear of the unknown. Inherent in such a transition, an emptiness remains in the wake. How does one fill that void? Well, I've learned it's not something that happens overnight. It's an ongoing process. And it doesn't happen on it's own. It requires initiative and effort -- to meet people, to make friends, to fit in. And I do that. I introduce myself, join clubs, groups, and a church. I step out of my comfort zone and open myself to new possibilities. Yet throughout this process, I've discovered an essential truth. No one can replace your family.

Sixty-three percent (or so) of you readers have uprooted yourselves and left "home." Some of you have been through the process multiple times. How did you fill the void? How do you define propinquity?


Common Household Mom said...

Awesome alliteration. That statistic surprises me. I don't live near the town where I grew up, but I am also not thousands of miles away. I imagine some people might be glad to move away from where they grew up. Moving to a new place definitely requires effort, in all the ways you describe.

GerdieMom said...

We miss you...