Growin' on up
***This is in no way bashing my or anyone else's small hometown.
I cherish it, I respect it and I will always love to visit it.
This is in fact a posting to read with an open mind.
This posting hits a little close to home. Literally. From a small town girl with big town dreams.
Coming from a town with one high school, one Starbucks and maybe a handful of grocery markets; I feel less than limited. I feel grateful that I was able to grow up in a close community. Everyone knows everyone and their mother, brother, sister from another mister. But at the same time;I moved out of my hometown around four years ago. It was honestly the most positive and adult decision I've made (personally). I love going back and experiencing some of my favorite eats or seeing friends and family I'll always miss; but that's the thing, I've learned to appreciate this only because I've moved away.
There are a million reasons to go and a million reasons to stay.
I encourage you; if from a small town, to think outside the box about a few things.
Small hometown living gives you
-Quirky Traditions; I'll always remember the veterans day parade in my hometown. Children picking up thrown candy from once served military, Waiving of the American flag with pride and honor, Harley Davidson Motorcycles and the occasional Ford model A car squeezing it's old fashion horn.
-Knowing your neighbor. Whether you grow up in a neighborhood or out in the rolling hills of country; typically if you've lived there most of your life, your neighbor has too. They are either that annoying persistent visitor or a humbling waver from afar. Either way, take a second and be grateful you have someone to watch over your home while gone on vacation or someone to pick up your mail.
-Smaller religious based communities
-Lower cost of living. That being said; urban living has become unthinkably expensive for the middle class.
Moving away gives you
-Opportunity to see diversity (culture, race, religion, etc.) but also giving you a global perspective
-Availability to meet tons of new people that are extremely different from you but in fact they possibly aren't that different. You may have never gave them a chance on first impression in a small town.
-Willingness to kiss your comfort zone (routine) goodbye. Your same "every day" routine can get mixed with different coffee shops each morning or cocktail restaurants each evening.
-Involvement in new communities. I remember my first day at University of Oregon. Having stadium size 100 level Psychology courses was definitely intimidating at first; especially after attending community college in my hometown where I knew at least half my class and had hands on teaching. But, once I realized how much I was learning outside of lecture; about independence, differences and the world in general; things that seemed scary. I was doing things I only dreamed of once doing.
-Temptation to spend more. Whether it be on shopping and or more activities (mini golf, lazer tag, movies among so many more).
Especially in times like these. 2017. Following the election of a controversial President. Some think the world revolves around what only happens in their town, city, state or even nation, It doesn't.
Leaving a small town is humbling and motivating, It inspires you to be better and become more interested in other people and places around you. Even if it is for a short time. A year you can learn a hell of a lot.
Thanks for reading and Happy Tuesday.