I Am Thankful For My Small Town Values

I Am Thankful For My Small Town Values

Big city...I am coming for you, but not without my small town values.
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Big city...I am coming for you, but not without my small town values.

Yes, people might be able to fly over the Midwest and not have a clue what state is where or think we all must be farmers, but that is not true. I can genuinely tell you that growing up in the state of Iowa has been one of the biggest blessings in life so far and I am sure many people in states all around the Midwest can testify to that as well.

What have I learned from growing up in a small town?

Manners are everything

I can tell you, hands down, that "Iowa nice" is a thing. As someone who loves to travel, it warms my heart when people ask where I am from because I have such nice or caring mannerisms and manners. When thinking about living in a city one day, I feel confident that I will be able to leave my own mark. While submerging into the hustle and bustle, I feel confident that I have learned to have a backbone but know how to treat others with the utmost respect.

I appreciate land

While it can be easy to feel envy towards the people who have the privilege of looking at an ocean view each morning or the ones who are able to wake up to a beautiful city view. But, I am thankful I grew up the way I did. It has been a personal privilege to be thankful for the beauty that surrounds me.

I find peace and happiness in taking long car rides and finding views that are unbeatable. I also feel I have a deeper appreciation for a city just because compared to where I grew up, they seem to be on opposite spectrums of the world. I know after I move to a city, I will be able to wake up and appreciate the view, but coming home to the sweet land of Iowa will bring back so many wonderful memories that I will forever be able to cherish.

The freedom of the outdoors

The saying, "You should go take a breather," is actually possible. At least where I grew up, there was an endless amount of space to be alone, run free and have personal freedom. That in itself is a gift not a lot of people get to experience.

What is traffic?

"I'll be there in 10" is a true statement. There is no reason to leave early, wake up early, or feel late. We are on a laid-back schedule with plenty of time to get anywhere we need.

Traveling is even more special

Being able to see and experience different cultures unlike mine, has been life-changing. I wish more people wanted to experience a beautiful fall, amazing boating and people that just want to have a good time. I am thankful for the traveling I have been able to do and it all comes back to where I am from.

Big city...I am coming for you, but not without my small town values.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels.com

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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My First Year Of College Wasn’t Great And That’s Okay

I didn’t adjust as well as I thought I would, but I made it.

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Everyone always raves about how much they loved their freshman year of college. The independence, the parties, meeting all these new people from different places. It's a big milestone in your life. But not everyone has an amazing first year. And I'm one of those people.

Don't get me wrong. I was so excited about college. Finally getting to be on my own, experiencing all these new things. I even met people in my class before we moved in. And the first month was a blast...but then it wasn't anymore.

Eventually, I slid into this “funk", you could say. I was depressed. I never wanted to leave my bed. Some nights, I didn't even wanna eat dinner. And soon, my friends noticed but soon just stopped inviting me out.

At first, they still would, even though the answer was always no. But I guess they got bored and tired of me always saying no.

Soon, I didn't feel like I even had any friends and at one point, I even found myself debating going home to avoid being alone in my room all weekend. I would force myself to make plans, but found myself not wanting to go out because I got ignored every time I did. It wasn't worth it.

I was homesick, isolated, and just wanted to fit in.

When the year finally came to an end, I couldn't be happier. But now that it is over and I'm home, I realize how much I miss the people that were there for me. The people that came into my life unexpectedly, but it was hard for me to really recognize they care about me.

I absolutely hated my freshman year of college. Yeah, it started out good and I found my sorority, but I never felt like I was wanted anywhere. I felt so alone. I became so incredibly isolated and distant and it took a drastic toll on me as a person.

But in spite of all that, I realize that maybe that's how it was supposed to happen. Because I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and it will all play out.

This being said, my first year might not have been what I thought or hoped for. But I can truly say I am excited to see what my next year holds.

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