In today’s post, Daniella shares some of her reflections having left her ‘Small Town’ for the ‘Big City’ and her fear of preferring one over the other…
Dear Generic Small Town,
I lived in you for practically my entire life thus far. Eighteen whole years of my life spent in this small space I called home. Eighteen years of everyone knowing everyone and their business, of walking around the same area five times a day because there wasn’t really anywhere else to go, especially if you had no money like we did. Eighteen years of monotony, the same things happening day in, day out, and yet the local newspaper still managed to find new things to report about.
Small town, I decided to move away from you. I wanted more: my concept of more, I hasten to add for fear of being attacked. When the opportunity of university came I jumped at the chance to move away to a new place, to not feel as enclosed and trapped as I did in you.
Let me tell you, Small Town, I like this feeling of anonymity, of being the small fish in a big pond. For the first time in my life I can swim undetected, without the worry of being fished out and inspected, talked about, by anyone and everyone in the town. I like living in a big city where I have so much choice about what I can do each day, with endless opportunities to see new things and do new things rather than sitting in the same park all summer.
It sounds wonderful, it’s the big city fairy tale I had dreamed of since I was fifteen. I am like Rapunzel who has finally escaped from her tower. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m definitely not above anyone else who has stayed in the small town I so despised. Everyone has their own preferences, and just because I am pursuing my own path away from my ‘small town’, it does not mean that those who have stayed are any different, or are living their lives wrong. I admire those who haven’t taken the “easy escape route” of going to uni, and instead have real adult jobs. I’m quite content to shy away from those real responsibilities under the masquerade of another three years of education, thank you.
Small Town, I know I disliked you, but that’s just me. I outgrew you. Please don’t fret, there are plenty of people who like you just the way you are. And that’s a good thing. I’m glad you exist. Secretly, I sometimes miss you. I miss the familiar scent of the sea, and the roads I could walk down whilst asleep and still get to where I want. I miss the usual routine and always knowing what was happening next; the security and comfort. I miss always seeing someone I know, that familiar face who always asks how I am and somehow gives me a piece of wisdom to pocket and take with me.
But most of all, I miss the stars. Here it feels like it is never night, with the constant beams of street lamps and LED lights from clubs, the buses that never stop, and the people who won’t stop shouting. I do miss that shining curtain sweeping across the night sky.
When I think about it, I didn’t hate you at all. I just needed to experience the best of both places to truly appreciate how special and unique they both are. I am lucky to have them both in my life- so please don’t force me to choose between the two…