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Importance of Roots

October 24, 2014

The concept of putting down roots has always been important to me. I had very strong roots growing up- my mothers family was very close both emotionally and geographically. My dad’s family wasn’t close geographically but I knew my paternal grandpa and several of my uncles very well. Roots are important. They were the base for my support system and something that helped me identify myself.

When I moved to Chile my senior year of high school I ripped out my root system. I still had my connections to my family but geographically they were far away and emotionally harder to talk to. My life was taking different routes and I was beginning to learn different things. I could talk to my family once or twice a week but it was difficult. Not just emotionally but practically what with time differences and schedules.


When I moved back home after my time abroad things were different. I was starting to grow into the person I’m still growing into today. Sometimes this person was at odds with my family. Sometimes this person was at odds with myself. Sometimes I just felt tied in and stuck being back in my home town. This made it so I couldn’t put those original roots back in.

I moved away to college, I moved to Guatemala, I moved back to college. I would put down shallow roots- enough to soak up the stability I needed but not so deep that I couldn’t pull them back out if I needed to.

When I moved back to my city from Guatemala I still had roots here from before I left. When the ex and I started dating I’d go visit him in Chicago on a regular basis. If he wasn’t working up here (which he often was) I’d drive down to Chicago 1 a month or so. I got to know his friends and his family.

I really thought him and I would do the whole forever thing. I planned on going to law school in Chicago- hell I’m still looking at law schools in Chicago. I thought I’d be putting roots down there for the long term. I feel secure when I have roots, I feel safe in life and my position in it. I wanted to have those roots when I got to Chicago.

I took time to get to know the people in his life. They were apart of my life and would eventually be a part of my root system. That’s no longer the case for better or worse. Just as so many things happen in a break up I got the sheets he got his support system. Besides I’m still years away from Chicago, or New York, or DC or California.

I have roots here too- in my current city. For better and for worse most of my system here are not other students. They are people who already established themselves here. They are not transient people they are stable and solid. When I leave for law school they will still be here.

I could be satisfied in this city. I could finish my undergrad and find an advocacy job, find someone to share my life with, raise a family and hopefully do some good. I’d be satisfied. But not happy. Not necessarily. I’d feel that I’d be cutting myself away from many choices and many opportunities. I do want to get my law degree, I do want to leave but I’m more afraid of letting my roots tie me here without giving myself the opportunity to grow. Of settling for the choice of comfort over the fear of what might be.

I can always come back. However, I think in order to be happy staying I have to leave first. I have roots here and I don’t have to rip them out. I can put more down later I might find a better place for me to put them down.

Roots are important to me but they are not a reason for me give up or change my goals and dreams.

General inspirational quote of the day

General inspirational quote of the day

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