One of my former students recently shared an article and said something about being thankful to not be “stuck” in a small town. So this is my rebuttal, because let’s face it, I’m not exactly a quiet person. And bagging on my small town life? Now it’s personal.
What I want to say is this…
You’re kidding me right? You think we’re stuck? Oh, honey. Life is what you make it. I’m not stuck in a small town; I chose it.
Choosing to come back to our simple hometown life after college was, by far, the best decision we have ever made. And you know what? We’re not alone. So are you going to tell me that those who choose to leave and head to the bigger city are better than the thousands of us whom have chosen to raise our families in a small town?
When we came back, we began a family business that has contributed to our small town economy for over 10 years. We are business owners and we are as successful as we want to be. Do we have loads of cash? No. But we have a roof and food. We have enough.
So if you’re too good for this small town life, there’s a lot you’re too good for. Here’s a little list for you…
- You’re too good for the teachers who stayed in that small town you grew up in in order to help you further your education and go for your dreams.
- You’re too good for your own family. You know…those people who raised you, fed you, and picked you up every time you fell in that small town.
- You’re too good for the job your mother and/or father had, the job that provided for you to be able to get “unstuck.”
- You’re too good for the cooks who fed you, the librarian who provided enriching activities, the guidance counselor who led you, and the principal who disciplined you when you were showing your disrespectful attitude.
- You’re too good for the doctors who saw you through every sniffle and hospital stay.
- You’re too good for the nurses who comforted you and knew you by name when they saw you in the grocery store.
- You’re too good for the secretaries, teachers, and role models who made sure you were where you were supposed to be and not where you wanted to be.
- You’re too good for unlocked doors and friendly highway waves.
- You’re too good for cruising with your friends on country roads until all hours of the night.
- You’re too good for the fundraisers your hometown puts on for every person ever suffering from anything.
- You’re too good for playing until the street lights come on without fear.
- You’re too good for those people who run the swimming pool every summer and somehow manage to babysit half the town every day.
- You’re too good for the volunteer firefighters and EMTs who saved your friend or family member.
- You’re too good for raising your family with the help of 3,000 others.
- You’re too good for Friday night lights and prom parties, for your coaches and teammates, and for your memories.
- You’re too good for the mechanic who fixes your car, the vet who takes care of your dog, the convenience store clerk who knows you by name, and the pastor who prays for you.
- You’re too good for the radio stations you jammed out to while you dreamed of a different life.
- You’re too good for the safe and comfortable home you grew up in and for the volunteers who saw you through every youth event you were ever a part of.
- You’re too good for the farmers who grew the food you eat every day.
- You’re too good for me and all of your friends who want to raise their families in a small town.
So go for your dreams, but remember all these people are living their dreams, too. We chose small town life. It doesn’t mean we’re stuck; it means we chose differently than you. You’re not wrong for wanting to leave, but don’t assume we’re wrong for wanting to stay.
Life is what you make it.