Cornfields. I’ll see 10+ on any given drive I take to somewhere. It’s comforting in a way, the familiarity. But it also leaves you wondering about the other side of things, what else is out there? I’m by no means a “farm raised kid” but at the same time this is the environment I was raised around. I’ve always separated myself from the farm lifestyle, but at the same time I’ve never been one to knock another for choosing that kind of life. I recently took a trip to visit family in Seattle and thought to share my experience from the point of view from someone who is used to a very different surrounding.
My first impression of walking around the city- wonderment. I mean when you’re not used to seeing intricately designed buildings pretty much on top of each other everywhere you look- it’s really an amazing sight. You’re impressed by pretty much everything- from the rentable bikes people can leave anywhere to the vastly different personalities of the people you walk by on the street. And I realize that Seattle is quite different than other large cities in the United States, but the general city life here is still something to be noted. Once you get over the initial amazement at all the cool technology, you begin to marvel at something else. The people. Everyone is so different from one another, when you’re used to a lot of like-minded individuals. You see that the first person you walk past probably has an entirely different way of thinking than the next. In my hometown each person is usually a lot like the next.
I notice that these people are so much more open to the concept of new ideas. They don’t fear progression, they encourage it. And when you’re not used to that you really, really appreciate it. Now it’s not like I’ve never been to a city before. Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland- been there, done that. But Seattle is a totally different experience from any of these. You see a city filled with a lot of accepting people. The things people here have no problem accepting, people in my town would have to take drastically longer about in order to change their way of thinking towards.
The next thing I notice is the overall motivation. The people here want more out of life, they can be content but not automatically convinced that there’s no better life for them. They have the motivation to seek more for themselves. To make more money, to encounter new experiences, to discover new ways of doing things, and above all to be open to new concepts and ways of thinking. Here’s where you’re like, damn is this guy just roasting small town life? No, it’s just me explaining the differences I notice. There are actually several things I appreciate about my little town.
For one- I’m not walking past total strangers on the street. I’m walking next to people I’ve grown up around my whole life. They know a lot about me, I know a lot about them. I don’t have to try too hard to strike up a conversation with them and that’s really nice. They’ll ask me more personal questions, which to some people would be annoying, but really it’s just them taking a deeper interest in my life. And not every person from a small town is simple minded, a lot of these people can have their own very different opinions. It’s just that they don’t always have the experiences these people in the city have had to base their opinions on. They haven’t been exposed to as big of a variety of people and ideas.
That’s why I’m thankful for this experience, it’s given me that extra background that not a lot of the people I’m usually around have. It’s made me appreciate both the world outside of my town and the town itself. I don’t know at this point where I’ll want to live in the future, but I do know that I can be open to living in a larger environment. And hey, who’s to say I won’t miss those cornfields if I ever do move to a large city someday. The beauty of it is that I have the choice to choose, and my location never has to be a permanent place. You can always go back, you can always go somewhere different.
Expose yourself to something new and you can find yourself appreciating your norm. Find yourself in the same place for a while and realize you want to experience something different.