This picture has nothing to do with the content of this post, but it was cute and I wanted to use it somewhere!
Anyone who knew me 10 years ago would probably be surprised by my current lifestyle. The life I imagined for myself was very urban, very modern. I would be living trans-continental and married to my work. Maybe saving the world teaching in a jungle somewhere or making art for the betterment and preservation of our culture...or something else. But, whatever the specifics, I can assure you that none of these dreams involved a family or a town with farmland.
So how did I stray so far from what I thought I wanted? Was I always destined for this? My parents spoke openly about their wish to leave the city and return to the Midwestern farming communities they came from. Perhaps, I unconsciously agreed.
All of these things - marriage, children, rural living - happened without any "plan" on my part. Everything just clicked together, piece by piece, until one day I looked around and realized that this is good. Only recently have I been able to let go of the image I held onto of myself, worldly and independent, and truly accept the reality that here I feel fulfilled.
All the years I spent living in the city and chasing after my imagined self, I felt excited but never complete. I don't know if that ever made me happy. In the city it was so easy to look outward for satisfaction. With endless options for shopping, entertainment, etc. emotional voids can easily be filled with quick fixes. The isolation of living in a rural community has forced me to look inward for comfort. And that has a made a huge difference in my life.
I still love the city. The lights, the museums, the skyscrapers! But, inevitably the charm wears off and I am exhausted, overwhelmed, and ready to return to my quiet little town where I can hike a trail, snorkel in the ocean, or play cards with my family over a hot cup of tea.