Sunday, March 21, 2010

Romanticism and Small Towns

One of the things I have found most interesting about living in a small town, is how my perceptions have changed as I have grown older. I feel I have grown more romantic about my view of small towns and not less.

There were times after I moved back to the region that reality really hit hard. I struggled to pay my bills (a must in a small town), feed my daughter and run a business.

I applied for jobs I was overqualified for and lost them to underqualified relatives of those doing the hiring. I lived on rice and beans and couldn't afford medical or dental care.

Looking back, it is amazing to me that the desire to leave and go back to big city life was never there.

At first I wondered if it was because I was digging in my heels and refusing to fail. I am known for my tenacity and many times, like a dog with a bone, I have to be hit on the snout to let go. I have even been known to bite back if I am made to give up what I want.

That wasn't it and when the opportunity came up to apply for a professional position that would help coordinate the future of our region I applied. My cover letter, after a third read contained a mixture of romantic childhood views of the region, realistic expectations and a passion for the future. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Even if my life continues on as it has, qnd I don't get the job, I know that my view of the region will remain romantic and be shaded by my childhood memories. The clean air, safe streets and limited interference from others will always be needed in my life.

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