Aug. 13, 2021

it's OK to go home: a takeaway from Shelby Lam.

it's OK to go home: a takeaway from Shelby Lam.

If you remember back a few weeks ago, I told Josh Rultenberg about my decision to move to Portsmouth, NH, and why I struggled so much choosing a place to live.

I fell in love with Denver this year, but I couldn’t guarantee I’d find lasting happiness there. Boston appealed to me, but the expenses didn’t. I thought about West Hartford, Conn., because of the familiarity, but eventually nixed that one too. Been there, done that.

And after attending a June wedding in Saratoga, NY, the beautiful historic town twenty minutes away from home, I began some preliminary apartment searches. Shoutout to Zillow.

The prospect of home, my family, some friends, my beloved Saratoga Race Course, the bustling downtown scene and proximity to the Adirondacks certainly presented a better recipe for happiness than Denver, Boston and West Hartford could offer.

But I decided against Saratoga too.

Despite the “Spa City’s” many positives, I couldn’t escape one overwhelming negative:

It’d be too easy.

Yes, too easy.

As all of you know, I like to make things difficult. I'm hellbent on growth, and if I stay in my comfort zone, growth will never happen.

If I lived in Saratoga, you’d see me smiling and laughing my way down Broadway.

But internally, I’d criticize myself for settling.

And it would gnaw at me every day.

Because to reach my potential, I feel I need to see as many places as I can, experience life in different terrains and climates and interact with people who grew up differently than I did.

But that’s just me.

I understand many of you may feel differently. And that’s totally OK! Because why would you voluntarily make things so difficult?

I ask myself that every day. 

Yesterday’s guest on the podcast, Shelby Lam, is one of those people from my hometown who has decided to stay there.

She doesn’t regret it, and I applaud her for it.

She told me, 

I've played with the idea (of moving) so many times, but I’m just really close with my family. My family's all here and I have close friends here, but mainly, honestly, it’s my job...

I don't know that I would say that I’ll never move away, but I just really like it here. I don't know if I'll find anywhere better.”

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, Shelby. You don’t need to move if you don’t truly want to.

If home is where you feel you belong, then by all means, please stay home. Don’t lose yourself comparing your life to the photos you see on Instagram of other young people floating about the country.

You may look at my 2021 and be jealous of me living in Denver, or in a van for a weekend, or Boston for a month, or my trips to Arizona, California and Oregon.

But honestly, I’m the one that’s envious.

I aspire to be more like Shelby. She’s full of conviction about where to live, and I can’t say I’ve felt that way before.

It’s O.K. to be content where you are.

I know that. I just wish I could get myself to believe it.

Cheers to you, Shelby, for finding happiness where you belong. And also for joining me on the podcast, which you can watch here.


If you enjoyed our conversation, please leave a review of “The Troy Farkas Show” on Apple Podcasts. And don’t forget to follow her on Instagram @shelbbsbookstagram.