I come from a small town. One of the, perfect to raise a family in, kind of small towns. It had its good and bad attributes. You always had someone. No matter where you are, or who you are, there was always someone to count on. And coming from someone with a sick mother growing up, that was great. This town really exemplifies the phrase, "it takes a village.." because they were that village.
However, you couldn't go anywhere without seeing someone you knew. Just forget making a quick run to the store in your sweats, it never fails, you will see that lady from your bible group or that kid in your third block. The other downfall? Everyone was related to everyone. Not my family, but that's because we weren't originally from there, but everyone else. Which means, you could never say a negative comment to anyone because they could be someone's sixth cousin. Try living in a town where you have to watch what you say, all the time.
That was my town.
It was great. Had its quirks, but who couldn't not love that small-town vibe? But this small, random town that I grew up in, wasn't where I found myself. That was my next destination.
Like most people who live in small towns with a big city mentality, I felt restless. Like this wasn't where my journey ended. I knew there was more. So I then did this crazy thing that not many people in my small town did -- I moved to a city. Not just a city, a big city. Talk about an adjustment. For most of my life I grew up in a "know-everybody" kinda town and now I can actually go to the grocery store without being stopped by five people.
I had to grow up. Quickly. Not only was I moving to a brand new city, I got my first apartment, moved in with a boy, and had to learn to be on my own. I learned what it meant to have a negative balance in your account and no food in your fridge. I learned what it's like to not have "a village" within walking distance. I learned.
In one week I will be leaving the city where I learned, I grew, I found myself. It has been three years since I first decided to uproot my life. Four months ago, I decided to leave this city. Not because I have learned everything I could, but because I have learned just enough. I learned that I need to do things on my own. I learned that I am ready for the next step, but this city will always be a piece of me.
This overly crowded, big city is the reason I am okay with my next step. This is where I found myself. This is where I learned the real meaning of independence and happiness. In 29 months, I went from crying every night with regret, to celebrating my life. It took this city for me to feel like "me" and for me to feel at home with myself. I now have the confidence to uproot and leave my life, again, with no regrets.
These skyscrapers and busy streets came exactly when I needed them to. This city is my city. It's home.