I think we spend a lot of our youth "searching" for ourselves, and trying to find where we "fit". Our place in the world.
I think we do spend a lot of our youth searching for a certain place, person, feeling in which we belong. A state, either physical or psychological. I have admittedly spent so much of the past few years waiting to get out of my suburban town, in which the joint with the best dumplings & hot garlic sauce is, and the dump reeks in the summer. But lately, through many different mediums, I've been inspired by the fact that who we are is in us all along; we just have to listen.
As cliché as it sounds, it is something I stand by. People travel the world searching for who they are, in every crack in the sidewalk, every diner booth for one and every journey they make. A lot of the time, these people end up where they started, maybe in the next town over. I know we hear the "success stories" of those who made it, but what about those who didn't necessarily make it out? Maybe these people are meant to be there or maybe they aren't, but that's a whole different story.
My point is, we focus so much on "escaping", but we really may just be neglecting the voice inside of us. I think the factor which plays into this the most is fear. We often grow up in places where we feel as though we will not be accepted, and honestly, it sucks. We spend so much valuable & pure time worrying over what others will think about our natural hair, or our sexuality. It is a lot easier said than done to have the "fuck them all" mindset, especially when everything around you points to "you can't do that". But what I find is that new places & new faces bring comfort to us and I don't really know why. Even I alter the way I carry myself when I go to the city, because I feel "more" myself there. Maybe it is not feeling a better sense of myself, but having the courage to be myself.