Are you a city slicker or a small-town lover?
Not sure what your answer might be?
I wasn't sure what my answer was until I moved away from the small town of Staunton, Virginia and moved back to my home city of Las Vegas, Nevada. Just recently, I got the chance to go back to Virginia and visit, and I came to this conclusion:
I'm definitely a small-town lover.
I've always loved the movies that glamorize small-town life, like these:
The picture-perfect Stars Hollow from "Gilmore Girls"
Or, my favorite: Alien-infested Lillian from "Super Eight"
I love these because the small town makes the story. Small towns are fantastic.
Something about the slower-paced life is enticing when you've grown up in a city whose population pushes towards two million people.
It's the difference between having to drive to the library versus being able to ride your bike and bringing your biggest backpack to cart home your books.
It's being able to leave your door unlocked with almost zero fear of someone taking advantage of it.
It's getting to sit on your roof and watch a meteor shower in all its glory because light pollution doesn't exist in a town of 24,000 people.
Don't get me wrong: city life is great! This is from the girl who dreams of New York City and the moment she finally gets to call it home. I can't wait.
Life is different, though, in Smalltown, USA.
People aren't in a hurry; they want to stop you in the grocery store and ask how school is going or tell you how great you played in the game last night.
Everyone goes to the football games on Friday nights together, even if they don't like sports.
It's the spirit of the community.
That's the big difference: your "community" is the physical community around you. You get to know and befriend the people with whom you live life.
I've been extremely blessed to have split my life living on opposite ends of the American geographical spectrum: I was born in Las Vegas and lived there until I was 11 when my family decided to move to Virginia. My parents moved us so that my brother and I could experience the opportunities I listed above.
I learned how to drive the back roads of Virginia and can navigate the spaghetti bowls of Las Vegas. I learned to be okay with Waffle House at 2 am when nothing else was open, and I am definitely okay with living in a 24-hour open city. I've tasted the lights of the city and the stars of the country.
And being back in the city makes me long for my small-town life.
Someone will look at me with a sympathetic eye, shrug his shoulders, and say, "Well, the grass is always greener on the other side."
They're definitely right: the grass was much greener on the East Coast.
But there's some green grass in fabulous Las Vegas, too. It just takes a little more digging to find it.