I wanted more. And that’s why I left. I wanted more for me, for my family, and for my future family. I didn’t want to be trapped under the small town curse. You get comfortable and you never leave. The comfort is nice, but merely serves as a walker. As we begin to grow as people- in spirit and in mind, we outgrow the barriers of small town life. We need something more. We need something more stimulating in order to feel alive.
I wanted more than nights spent home alone dreaming, while everyone was out and about with the rest of the town: drinking, smoking, breaking curfew, while breaking the law. I wanted more than holding my breath walking through the gates on my way to school, to avoid the pot clouds getting tangled up in my lungs. I wanted more than sharing one guy between every desperate girl in town, who just wanted someone to love her, to validate her existence. I wanted more than experiencing heartbreak after heartbreak after caring for those deemed “unlovable,” just because they’re scared to get close to people. I wanted a real life. I wanted experiences and I wanted all of them.
I was terrified. Terrified of getting comfortable in the cushioned walls that small town life promises and provides to its inhabitants. I was terrified of getting comfortable with being average. I didn’t want to become another person who raises a family in a house surrounded by a white fence and guarded by a small yappy dog. I didn’t want to graduate from school, to go on to work a 9-5 job that makes me dread waking up in the morning. I have dreams and I want to live them and stop dreaming them. My dreams are sometimes bigger than myself, so it was no surprise that they began to ooze outside of the boundaries of this washed up town.
Whether it was maturity or just a change of heart, i’ve learned to stop competing and to stop arguing. Small towns can get catty. If someone manages to find a one-way ticket out, we get jealous. If someone is doing better than we are, we feel insecure. It’s human nature. However, i’ve given up the fight. I’ve given up caring if people liked me or what I was wearing, or how my family was living. It’s exhausting. I’ve given up being hurt if I was left out of a plan. There’s always next time and there’s other things I can do tonight. I’ve given up being hurt over guys who I shouldn’t have paid attention to in the first place. Whether you look at it as a fault or not, I attract to broken souls, because I can relate. Not being able to make up your mind and not wanting to get close to someone, I get it. But, nurturing a broken soul with no nurturing in return gets old real fast, and i’m too old and my time is way too valuable to be playing games with people who don’t know what they want. I’m over the arguing. The possibility for a fight no longer excites me, but exhausts me. I like to steer clear whenever possible. I’ve learned the best way to win an argument is not to respond at all. The most important thing that I realized is: life is not a competition. It doesn’t matter if you have achieved something in x amount of time, and I haven’t yet. It’s not a race. I want to experience everything, but it doesn’t have to be right now. It was important for me to realize to stop measuring my success by the level of other people’s successes. Just because I accomplished something doesn’t make me better than you. We’re all on the same playing field. The only person i’m competing with nowadays is myself. I just want to be better than the person I was yesterday, everyday. Just like I want good things for myself and my family, I want good things for you and your family too. It’s not a competition: I wish you all well. I enjoy rooting for others and watching them succeed before my eyes.
Remember: this life is short. Go after what you want. Chase it with both hands. Nothing in this world is too far out of reach as long as you’re willing to work hard for it. If you’re not happy where you are, change it. This life is full of possibilities, you just need to wipe the crust out of your eyes and start looking. I’m rooting for you.