There is something immensely intriguing about being fresh out of high school, and being from a small-town. You are able to go away to school and be whoever and whatever you want to be. I know for myself, I thought it would be my opportunity to explore a new chapter in my life and become the city girl that I & those who knew me had always pictured me to be. Always being interested is fashion, I assumed I just would end up living in the city, and that would be the end of that – clearly my perspective on things has changed drastically.
Very quickly after moving away from home, I learned that living in the city was not all I had imagined it to be. I thought I would enjoy not knowing everyone – and surprisingly I didn’t. I did make some amazing friends while away in school but somehow I still experienced a feeling of loneliness, even while I was with people. I found myself making any excuse in the book to come home and see my family, and I would randomly decide to come home at 11 at night even though I had to be back in Kitchener for an 8 am class the next day.
Eventually in my last year of post-secondary education, the classic feeling of being “homesick” along with some other health issues I was experiencing at the time got to me. I began not being able to sleep at night, and then being exhausted during the day. I went from enjoying my program and always getting 90% or above on all of my projects to almost failing classes because I stopped caring and stopped going. I also had a lot going on in my personal life at the time (as we all do), and nothing else seemed to matter. If I was able to get up in the morning and get through a day – that was good enough for me. The only thing that comforted me at the time was being at home where I felt safe with my family, and I lost almost all interest in anything else.
One day, my dad finally asked me what exactly I wanted to do with my life, which is when I told him (even though he already knew) that I wanted to eventually open up a clothing store. That is when he stopped me and said “Well you better get to it then.” I was floored – what did he mean? I was only 20, in my last year of school (debating if I wanted to drop out or not), I felt as though I had no control over what was going on around me, and I could barely get a grip on life as it was. How was I supposed to run a business?
After that things happened VERY quickly. We had begun a project in school just that week which involved making a business plan and coming up with our own company. This ended up being kind of perfect for me since I would actually be using that plan. Suddenly I felt excitement again for something going on in my life – and I started planning and working at it like crazy. After coming up with the name, my target audience, my goals, etc. I figured it was time to decide on a location. At first I just assumed it would be Walkerton. The more I thought about it though, the more I wondered. What if my business failed? Would everyone I know think of me as being unsuccessful, and in my own words “a failure”? That is when I decided to open my business in Kincardine. Yes, I realize it was only a half hour away – but it was far enough that I could start out without any expectations, and close enough that my customers from Walkerton could still drive up and not have to spend half the day driving.
Life became pretty insane after that. I was driving home from Kitchener, to Walkerton, to Kincardine almost every day in order to prepare for my stores opening which was planned for May, just a month after I graduated. It’s bizarre though because I absolutely loved that period of my life, and I still look back on that time as being one of the most exciting & healing.
So here we are 4 years later, and I get asked on a regular basis what my reasoning is for moving my store home. And quite simply the truth is that Walkerton is where my heart is. I was so blessed & so lucky to have spent 4 amazing years in Kincardine & to have met all of the wonderful people I did – I truly loved having my fashion boutique there. But my lease was coming up in Kincardine, and I had a decision to make on whether or not I wanted to stay or check out other options. And for me, moving just felt like the right choice. I guess like Dorothy says, there’s no place like home.
Once I announced my decision to my friends, my family, & my customers I immediately felt comforted and like I had hopefully made the right decision to move to Walkerton. I have been so incredibly overwhelmed, grateful, & joyous over the excitement I have received from others about the store’s reopening. I am honored to finally be running A Delicate Edge back in my hometown, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed creating it.
I was inspired to write this after a conversation I had today, with someone who also experienced similar feelings of being homesick while in school. But is there a point to this story? I have no idea. I guess my point would be that when we grow up in a small town, we sometimes are taught by our peers that it is a bad thing to be homesick. We convince ourselves that going away and starting a new is the best option. When in reality, we all have different paths in life which are unique and suit our own lifestyles & emotions. Never be afraid to go against people’s expectations & never be afraid to go with your gut feeling. I finally have…and I am excited to see what is in store for the next chapter of my life.