I am from a small town in the middle of nowhere. My family and I moved to the small town of Lakebay, Washington when I was 5 years old and I lived there until I moved to Southern California when I was 18.
Something you have to understand about my town is exactly how small and isolated my hometown is. From my front porch, I can't even see my neighbors house because of how many trees, and bushes are in the way. The nearest gas station is technically in the next town over, and the closest chain store is a Subway that's a 15-minute drive, going 45 miles per hour the whole way. My high school was an hour long commute round trip, and the nearest movie theater is 25 miles away. And those are all considered close.
I grew up going to school with the same people, went to church with the same people, knowing every little detail about their lives, and them knowing every little detail about my life. And when you live in a small community, being yourself will always rub someone the wrong way. They won't like you, they'll ostracize you, and convince others to do the same thing.
So when it came time for me to go to college, I couldn't wait to get the hell out of there.
I'm not the small town girl who loves her hometown and will always be a small town girl at heart. If it were not for my family living there, I'd never go back. I didn't even think for a moment about taking a gap year after graduation, and I most certainly was not going to go to a college town university.
Whenever I tell people about my town, I have to explain that it's not even included in a basic outline of my state, let alone labeled on a map. My hometown is the definition of rural. Driving down the highway, one has to watch out for the chickens and peacocks that roam around freely on the side of the road.
My first job wasn't like most kids where they work at some fast food restaurant, or at a mall. My first job was working on a farm down the street from my house, taking care of horses, llamas, alpacas, chickens, cows, swans, and nine dogs. The farm I worked on wasn't the only house in the neighborhood that had farm animals. My family was weird in only having cats and a dog.
I've never seen myself as a small town girl because I've always been a city girl at heart. I moved to Long Beach, California, without even stepping foot into LA County, and I instantly fell in love.
I loved how close all the houses and buildings were. I loved that going and seeing a movie wasn't the only form of entertainment nearby. I loved how diverse the people were. I loved that they were all from different places, and all had different cultural backgrounds. And most importantly, I love that 90 percent of the stores are open 24/7. I love knowing that I can buy a burrito at three in the morning.
Whenever I go home to my small town, and see the people I grew up with, I constantly get asked how 'the big city' is treating me, and if I miss this 'little ole town' that 'will always be Home.' (Emphasis on 'Home' because that's the name of the neighboring town *Biggest eye roll of my life*) Honestly, the big city is treating me better than this small town ever did. No, I most certainly do not miss this tiny town, and no, I do not consider Home home anymore.
I love my family and friends more than anything, but I was never meant for a small town. I've always been a city girl, and I will always be a city girl.