I don’t like to make generalizations as a rule, but I also think living in a small town is hard. I grew up in one, and I credit it with my perpetual identity crisis.
To be fair to other towns, other people have informed me that my hometown is very very strange and seems to be suffering the same sort of identity crisis as I am.
It’s neither urban, or even all that rural. Just a population around the 8,000 mark and a 45 minute drive to anywhere remotely interesting. Farmer’s a plentiful, but also an annual heavy-rock music concert that literally shuts down an entire road next to the coffee shop and the bank. A town with a top ranked college within the limits, but walk downtown during homecoming week and you will not see a single piece of college propaganda. Not a single banner, not on any of the remaining storefronts. Because they disappear regularly.
And unlike what TV, books, and the general world at large would have me believe, my hometown isn’t quaint and “artsy”, but it isn’t back-woods hicks ville either.
It’s hard to carve out your own identity against this back-drop. I didn’t have an advantage in traveling, so to me, for all but a solid year, this town was literally all of my experiences. And it never made sense. Add this to the usual complexities of growing up and carving my path with no discernible talents or passions…it was tough.
This may seem like I’m ragging on this town, I grew up here, and I love it. But I also really hate it. Because I grew up here I know every crack in every sidewalk. I’ve seen next to nothing change in 23 years of living here. This town wants to be something, and I want this town to be something. I really do. I really wanna be part of something that really makes a statement here. It takes time, but the plans are laid and crawling along.
I said in the beginning that I credit living in this specific small town to my identity crisis. Maybe that’s just me denying personal responsibility for my early quarter-life crisis. But I stand by this, this town is confused, at least as confused as I am about what it wants to be, and I’m not sure if it’s the cause of my discomfort, or if we’re just parallels of each other.
Here’s where instinct urges me to write an uplifting ending. To take all I’ve shared and spin it into a satisfactory self-bettering ending. But I can’t, in good conscience, do that to you.
Living in constant personal conflict like this has not made me a stronger person, I’ve yet to rise above this and be all the me I can. I’m not. And if you’re goodly enough to read my blog, I don’t want to lie to you…If anybody reads this, I haven’t had a comment in over a year.
I’m just on the slow-track, probably just chasing my tail trying to pick a direction to go. But either way, at least I’m running for it right?