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April 25, 2011

I had the pleasure of going home this weekend. All the way back to the farm and lil ol’ C-Town.

Although my current location is by no means urban, it always strikes me how different my life used to feel. The slower, steadier, smooth flowing pace it has compared to the random, hectic life I somehow have built around myself.  I’ll go for walks, wandering the empty roads, ‘cept for the occasional neighbor passerby, gazing across the corn fields, noticing the bird tracks imprinted in the dirt along side the road, the most vibrant sunsets I’ve ever seen….its all still there, as if it was cyrogenitcally frozen in my memories and rebuilt to exact spefications. Only the 2-4 new shop start ups on main street, soon to meet the doom of their prior occupants, stand to show time has passed there without me.

The reports back from the fam are always the same too: fox got a chicken, wheel broke on a hay wagon, went shopping at Cedar Mall, the church ladies made a delicous hot dish. The variations change, but the themes stay the same. They’ve always been comforting, assuring to me that the foundations I was raised upon still stand strong.

This weekend I met the other side.

By most all accounts, my life is flourishing like any soon to be college graduate’s life should be. I have a summer job lined up and graduate school tucked away for fall. I study a lot and travel almost as much. In some ( ok, a lot) of regaurds right now I lack a life, but that’s made up for this better one to come. At least in the eyes of others.

I had the pleasure of catching up with some old friends, have a few drinks, watch some TV and get updates on life.

As they’ve all seen each other more frequently than myself lately, I was first up on the updates real, and as humbly as I could muster re-counted my last year’s adventured and the upcoming projected ones to a lot of “oohs” “awws” and “hot damns!”

and a “At least you’re getting out of here.”

That struck me. While I could have told you as a tweenager that I’d probably never live there when I grew up, I always loved it. I’d walk about with dreams in my head, determinations in my heart that stayed for so long, I just came to believe them as inevitable facts of life.  Yes, I’d go on to higher education. I’d get a sweet job. I’d study abroad.  These weren’t maybes, these were facts. Facts I just had to put plans to. I never in my life considered the fact I was a rural farm girl with no experience or exposure to these things a hinderence. That was my blessing. I never had anyone tell me no, I couldn’t. Just told me how to work and to take opportunities.

My hometown was my wings, not the rocks tied to my ankles. But this weekend, I came to realize that’s what it is for many.  Its easy to go back to. Its easy to live in a small community of people. Get attached. Grow accustomed to a regualr schedule of some job with evenings at the local cheap bar or on the lake.  The room for professional advancement is minimal at best, but the lifestyle is cheap. So its easy to subsist and hard to advance.

While there are many content to live this way, as I’d agree it can be a fine way to live, when your head is full of dreams, or even an inkling desire for adventure, its a weight upon your back. When the question was turned around, as I genuinely care about their lives and what they’re up to, I was met with “umm…well. same ol same ol, just working at blah di blah….yup…” with a tone of discontent brought on by the thought I’d obviously think it less interesting than my own. Prehaps even a bit envious of where I seem to be going.

I was left baffled of what to talk about after that. Continuing explanation into my lil world would come out as un-due bragging or drive down a spike of how different my life has become. And as I had shared in the world they still inhabited for the majority of my life,   I didn’t need to be given more explanation. The story hadn’t changed since I left 5 years ago. So movies were watched, and I awkwardly slipped away at the end of the day with heartfelt goodbyes.

I wish I could just hand out pieces of my mind to others to place in theirs. Lil dashes of ambitious optimism that refuses to see impossibility as an answer. An un-inhibited sense of self and a relentless sense of adventure, balanced out with some sense of logic and forethought. The only real tools, along with a killer memory and observation skills, I’ve ever considered myself to have.

The world is out there people. Its just waiting for you to take it and bite in. I can’t promise that it’ll taste as sweet at all times, just that won’t kill you. Own what you’ve got going for you and take a chance at what you want, then you won’t have a moment left to regret.

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