You went from graduating preschool, to riding around town all day on your bike in middle school, to drinking too much in a cornfield in high school, all with the same people.
As a small-town girl currently living in a big city, there are more than a few things that I find myself longing for on more days than not. There's something about a simple life that you can't find anywhere else but a small town.
Here are 19 things you have no shame in admitting that you miss about living in Small Town, USA.
1. Everybody knows everybody and their grandma
Your teacher refers to you as your older sister. Your friends' moms are also your "moms." You're still besties with your ex's mom and grandma. There's nobody you don't know.
2. The non-existent traffic
What's a stop light? If you're getting stopped by anything, it's that damn train or the 5-O. Look up and down main street on Sunday morning and you can count on one hand how many cars you see.
3. The local restaurants
The bar and their pizza. That local bakery that knows your order by heart.
4. The hand wave you do when driving by
You know the one. Doesn't matter if you know the person or not, or whether they're driving a car or a tractor. OK, you better wave or tip your hat to the man on the tractor.
5. The scenery
The dirt roads, the stars, the sunsets, the fields of corn — everything looks prettier in a small town.
6. You know the town like the back of your hand
All the hang outs, all the dirt roads, all the place's the cops are parked, the skate park where those 15 year olds sneak off to smoke cigarettes. There's no nook-and-cranny that you don't know.
..Actually, you probably know your town better than the back of your hand.
7. Knowing everybody's business
There's nothing more legendary than small town gossip, and admit it, you loved it. We all know Carol's husband slept on the couch last night.
You know what they say, everybody dies famous in a small town.
8. The traditions
Everyone goes to church on Sunday then hits up Country Kitchen for brunch. Tuesday is for Kid's Night at Pizza Ranch. Your whole summer is spent looking forward to your town's celebratory weekend and the street dance that comes with it.
9. There's always a helping hand
If you got a flat tire or your dog got off the leash, any passer-by is more than ready and grateful to lend a hand.
10. The safety
Midnight walks to clear your mind, walking home from school in second grade — you never have to worry. You're safe here.
11. Sparking up a conversation with anybody
Your elementary-school-best-friend's great uncle still asks how you're doing every time you pass him by. That gas station trip just went from 5 minutes to 15. And there's always a smile, wave, and "how's it going," with anybody you pass on the sidewalk.
12. The freedom
In elementary school, your rules included making sure you were home before the street lights turned on.. and that was it. In high school, you found the freedom in taking off and hitting a dirt road when you needed a breather. The air is lighter and the freedom is higher in a small town.
13. You can get any where in a five minutes
You don't need to leave for work until the very last minute. You can get anywhere in three minutes, five minutes tops. And a 15 minute walk, gets you from one side of town to the other.
14. Everybody is a family friend
You still babysit for your ex-boyfriend's little sister. Your neighbor has a key to your house. If you need a dog sitter or someone to grab your mail when you're out of town, you could call the person who sits next to you in the pew at church, and you know they will.
15. Friday nights
Friday night lights followed by a couple cases of Busch Light, your best of friends, and a bonfire. Nothing better — hands down.
16. Knowing the same people since you were little
The people you graduated preschool with are the same people you graduated high school with. There's so many memories and years to look back and laugh on.
17. The late-night drives
There's no better way to clear your mind. It's just you, the dim street lights, and some good ol' Garth Brooks.
18. The simplicity
There's just no denying that life is so much simpler in a small-town. And you know exactly where to go if you ever need time to slow back down.
19. Driving back into town and knowing you're home
No matter how hectic life gets, you know as soon as you hit your home-turf, everything in life is alright again.
After 18 years "stuck" in the same old small town, spending every day waiting until the minute I could get out of it, I know that I wouldn't have wanted to grow up in any other place... especially one that doesn't think stopping in the middle of the road, rolling down your window, and chatting with the person driving the opposite direction, is normal.