I grew up in a small town, and while I loved my childhood, I thought I couldn’t wait to move away to NYC and experience “real life” in the big city where “all the exciting stuff” happens. As I have grown up though, I have realized that while I love having adventures, experiencing new places, and seeing how things are done differently everywhere I go, I am simply a small town girl at heart. I think it’s important to find things to get excited about every day regardless of our current zip code.
With that being said, I am absolutely not bashing people who prefer the big city, and I also realize that for some aspirations, you may have to go where the demand for your skillset is located; however, sometimes it seems as though small towns get stuck with negative connotations of not having ambition or lacking success, and I am here to shed some light on the subject! As I mentioned in my about page, big dreams aren’t just meant for big cities, so…
Here are 5 near and dear reasons to love small town life:
-History – I love that there is so much history weaved into every aspect of a small town. Whether it’s the local museum, a sign on the road indicating where something originated, or stories passed down through the years… you know, the “I remember when that movie theater was finally put in” or “when I was in high school we used to walk to that Dairy Queen for lunch for 50 cent hot dogs,” kind of stories. They may not seem relevant in a life-altering kind of way, but sometimes it’s those simple, nostalgic things that make you appreciate the community around you, and how things have evolved.
-Charming Traditions – Fall festivals, Christmas tree lightings, annual cook-offs … and all the other quirky, fun events that make you feel like you’re living in an episode of Gilmore Girls or in a Hallmark movie… are not just things that happen and you forget about when the next big thing rolls around. They are significant times of building closer relationships with your family and neighbors, and oftentimes coming together for a bigger cause, which brings me to my next point…
-Community Over Competition – individuals, businesses, and organizations banding together for a purpose is a beautiful thing. I’ve seen great accomplishments come from just a few people being willing to be a voice for change. Supporting the ideas of those around us, and realizing that we have to work together rather than tearing each other down, is what promotes a flourishing small town environment.
-Creativity Can Thrive – I figured I’d have some fun and throw a cliché into the mix… I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase “necessity is the mother of invention,” well in a small town, more often than not, you’re going to have less to work with. Less people, resources, space, etc. but because of that, creativity can blossom in a very vibrant way. I’ve seen entrepreneurs branch out in order to bring innovative experiences to life, and families using their imaginations to find different ways to bond and have fun.
-“Everybody Knows Everybody” – I will admit, at times this can be frustrating. I have gone through seasons in my life where I simply did not want to have to answer questions and probably would’ve much rather been invisible. However, I have realized, that more times than not, those questions come from a place of caring. Yeah, every now and then you’ll encounter a Mrs. Rachel Lynde type of busy body (Anne of Green Gables), but normally the people you come in contact with in a small town genuinely want to know you, how you’re getting along, and if there is anything they can do to help in times of trouble. There is something so comforting in just being known in that way. I love being able to walk into a restaurant or coffee shop and not only feel like a valued customer, but also a genuine friend. I love that I can always count on someone asking how my day is going, and actually caring about the response.
Small town life is not for everyone, and that’s totally okay! But, maybe there’s a point or two here that will make you think twice before judging those of us who choose to stick around…we happen to like it here.
Featured photos of interest in order:
–Lucky Cat Design Co. (A special thanks to them for providing these 2 photos from their fall promo shoot)