I am from a small town of approximately 1,250 people. No traffic lights, a few country restaurants and a lot of familiar faces. Cotton fields aren't uncommon and finding a tractor driving down our main road was nearly an everyday thing. If you don't know everyone by name, you at least know them by face. Friday night football was the town muse and you could find a majority of my little town crowded in our high school football stadium. I had to travel 25 minutes to the closest "city" to actually do anything; Go for a nice dinner, get coffee, shop. Even then, I say city very loosely.
When I think about it, I am very thankful for the things that I have learned growing up in a small town. I am thankful for the manners I was taught and for the memories my little town had to offer; the bonfires and friendships. However, my town is the kind of town that you either live in forever, or you get far away from after graduation. I have known since my Freshman year of high school which category I would fall under.
I have been dreaming of living in the city since age 15. By city, I mean the queen of all cities, New York. I think everyone always knew that I would be the one to stray far away from my small town. I always created my own style, writing and art was my first love and I would travel as far away as possible every chance that I got. My dreams just didn't really fit into my 35 miles an hour town.
Don't get me wrong, I am not the type of person who would ever forget where I came from. I appreciate where I came from. But I am the type of person who knows that dreams have no limits and my dreams belong in a city that can hold the capacity of my imagination.
So, yes, you can call me a small town girl, but no, you can not say that I am destined to live in my small town forever.
Growing up in such a small town, I think that has only pushed my love for the city more. All of the lights, busy streets, early coffee and late night events. I have always dreamed of being offered this.
One of my biggest fears in life is settling. Of knowing my dreams and never doing anything to achieve them. I have always been afraid that one day, I would just decide that my dreams were too unreachable and I would give up on them. That I would forget about the city, writing, and fashion and settle down for a different life. That every day would just become a routine of something that I never wanted.
Luckily, one thing that my little town has taught me is that whether you are the one who decides to stay or you are the one who decides to leave, you are supported.
My mentors, friends, and family in my middle of nowhere town always remind me of how proud they are of me and they remind me that I am never too far away to feel loved and supported.
Small towns do not have to confine you. They do not define how big your dreams can be and if you can achieve your dreams or not. Only you can do that.
No matter how small where you came from may be, you are never bound to that place. Your dreams are never too big and your goals are never unreachable.
I have learned that living the life I have always wanted is important to me, and I am the only one who can reach the dreams I have always sought. I will continue to dream of the city until one day I am living in it.
I love where I came from, but I love where I am going.