I went on a 15-minute run Monday night and by the time I finished, I had seen: a teacher from my high school, someone else I know well from around town, and my dad, driving three of my cousins home from school. I have hundreds of run-in stories, some more awkward than others.
When I was in eighth grade, I swore I was leaving Goshen as soon as possible after high school graduation. I vowed I would be the one to break family tradition and not go to GC; I would move far, far away to a town where no one knew me.
I was tired of feeling like everyone knew everything about everybody else, tired of seeing my friends and family members out in public every time I ran an errand, of people checking in or knowing my business. My eighth grade business was my business, after all, and the rest of Goshen could just not worry about it, thank you very much.
I was obviously a delight in middle school.
Also, obviously, I didn’t leave. After graduating high school, rather than moving across the country I moved to Yoder 3, less than a mile down the road from my parents’ house, the same floor my dad lived on 20 years earlier.
I’d like to say I had a big revelation in high school about what home was or what community really meant or maybe an attitude check about people knowing my business, but that really wasn’t true. It wasn’t until the summer before my junior year of college when I was preparing to leave for SST that I really started thinking about the place I was leaving instead of the place I was going.
I realized for a good chunk of time, I’d been getting in my own way of enjoying Goshen. It wasn’t until I heard my new college friends talking about Goshen things they liked that I realized I took a lot for granted, and it wasn’t until I started paying more attention to places and events happening off-campus that I noticed the variety of Goshen life.
This issue of the Record highlights Fashion Week, a new event for the area, but one that is sure to bring another element of excitement and diversity to the downtown scene. Future issues of the Record will continue to feature not just campus events, but city-wide events, reminding us that the Goshen community reaches well past the campus perimeter.
By no means do I think I’ll stay in Goshen forever, but this year my goal is to not be in a rush to leave. Cheryl Strayed said best, what I wish I could whisper back in time to my eighth-grade self. “Attempting to position yourself outside the circle isn’t going to save you from anything,” she wrote. “You’re here. So be here, dear one. You’re okay with us for now.”