I left once but then came back. Out of necessity really. I had no money, a new baby, was just married, and needed to live somewhere where it would be easy to start off. So we left California and came back to rural America.
It was a great environment to raise kids in. Jobs were readily available and we were able to provide them everything they needed. A few recessions later and our small town was dead. No more factories, no more growth, no more nothing. Now we plan our escape.
We started traveling again. Looking for a place to call home. Will it be Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Chicago? The more we traveled the more we noticed a shift in mindset. We noticed a freedom that came with a large population of people. Ideas readily flowed and people did not stop to care what shirt you wore, what country you originated from and what your dreams for life were. Been there done that.
Oh but in a small mid-west town things are much different. Say something. Something out of the norm of small town life and you solicit judgement on yourself. There is a form of oppression here. A pressure to conform. We just don’t like ideas and dreams around here. We stay out in the country because we can stay closed minded. We can celebrate our sameness.
Perhaps this is why I feel the need to rebel. Perhaps it’s why I want to drive really fast to work. I am racing. I want to win. Perhaps it’s why I feel oppressed. I have no one to share my ideas and dreams with. Perhaps it’s why I need to escape to somewhere that does. I was made for more. I was made to do things that no one here wants to do.
Celebrating Our Differences
I went to a friend who is a career coach. A professional woman that I respect. I thought I could trust her so I shared with her my dream. Her reaction? Why do you want to do all that? I was disheartened. Why could she not see that this is apart of who I am? I need to do all that.
A wise friend taught me once to approach every person with the mindset that we can learn from them. Every person has something to teach us. When you begin to approach people in this way it will transform your life. I see encounters with people as an opportunity to change and grow. Even when I don’t agree with people or their lives I can still learn from them.
Perhaps the differences we need to embrace are our own. No one I know has a passion to achieve anything outside of their 9-5 job. That doesn’t make me wrong. It just makes us different. I don’t need to change to be like them. I need to pursue my passions and goals. I don’t need the approval of others or their support. I just need to accept that I too am different and celebrate those differences by becoming who I was meant to be.
Out in the world it’s not so crazy to want to write a book, move to a new state, down size your house and simplify your life. It’s quite normal in some circles to want to start a business, and develop multiple sources of income. In my circles it’s not, but if I don’t celebrate my own differences then I will conform and die.
I have already left rural life. In my mind. I understand that some things can’t be shared with people and don’t need to be. I don’t need anyones approval to be who I am. I seek to be changed and grow from encountering other people, and I am determined to celebrate who I am. Even when that doesn’t fit the mold.
If you can’t come with me on my journey that’s okay. Then I hope you at least go on yours. I hope that you don’t conform to other peoples idea of what life should be. I hope that you identify who you are, celebrate that and then get busy living your life. I will be there with you. Routing you on. You can do this!
Do something today that celebrates who you are? When you do let me know. I want to encourage you to take the next step towards trying your ideas, living out your dream, and accomplishing your goals. firstname.lastname@example.org.