When I was seven, my parents decided they wanted to move from our big city to somewhere a bit smaller and safer, so we moved to a little town farther than the middle of no where. At that time, the closest Wal-Mart was 40 miles away. (That's how we country folk judge the size of the town by the way, distance to the nearest Wal-Mart for all of our flip flop and Astroturf needs.)
Growing up in a place that small had some big advantages and some catastrophically huge disadvantages. One of them being the plague of gossip. Literally, it is the black death out there. If you got your period or had a nail bed infection, everyone knew it. Sometimes even before you did. You'd go to school one day and people would tell you things that you didn't know (or ever want to) about your own brother, or how you're totally in love with someone you've never met. And all of the gossip turned out just like that game telephone, with the end result being drastically different from how it started. Things like, “Jenny is mad at Brooke.” turned into, “Jenny is both bipolar and homicidal and she's training her dog to destroy every member of Brooke's family.” I wish I was joking. So a blog like this, before escaping that little rural town, would have been out of the question. I'm saying all of this to remind us bloggers out there what a privilege it is that we can choose exactly what we want to share and what light to portray ourselves in, and how fundamentally important it is for us not to abuse that gift and be as honest as we possibly can. I want you to know, who you read about in this blog is exactly who I am, and I will do the best I can to maintain that promise.
I'm also mentioning all of this for the current residents of rural towns: see the world. Don't stay where you are because it feels safe, but explore and create for yourself a world where you can be uniquely you and are not afraid of the judgment of your neighbors or the kid down the street that you had a crush on in the 4th grade. So much of my life I was afraid to look how or say what I wanted because of the oppressive collective view of everyone I grew up with. I don't blame them though, they just don't know better. But please trust me, there is so much freedom in uncertainty. There is an entire world who will love every little weird quirk and fungal infection and your desire to wear something other than mucking boots in public. I know, it's shocking. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:
Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backdone ought to be." -Clementine Paddleford
Some advantages of said tiny town though, were the beautiful scenery, ability to leave your home and walk to your friends house across town at any time of night, and all of the outdoor freedom. (Not to mention I met my wonderful husband there, who is out getting me cherry garcia ice cream right now hehe.) You never had to worry about getting lynched in a dark alleyway, and, except for that one time when I got bit in the butt cheek by a pit bull, alleyways were a relatively safe and quick mode of travel. We got to run in fields of rhubarb and build janky tree forts with rusty nails for ladders and our parents never had to worry. Because everyone was so known, you never had to worry if they were serial killers or sexual predators or worse, democrats. (joke) And looking back, I'm glad my parents had that peace of mind. Looking at becoming parents ourselves soon, I wonder what choice we will make when that time comes: Safety and peace-of-mind, or social, educational and economic advantages? What do you guys think?
(Also, In these pictures I'm wearing a target cardigan and dress, thrifted heels and a Charlotte Russe Necklace.)
Because this entry was so uncreative and generally blah, I've attached my latest Nerdy Vlog to let you all know I'm not terribly boring and serious.