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Old 03-16-2012, 02:08 AM
 
Location: Austin
773 posts, read 1,072,768 times
Reputation: 941

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OP, I can understand why you feel the way you do. My parents made us live in a small town — thankfully for a brief period of time — and I don't think they realized how much I hated it. I got out ASAP and never looked back. Now I'm a die-hard urban dweller.

There's a different sensibility associated with large city/urban life that's difficult to describe. You used the weather analogy. For me, that sense of anomie only grew when I went back to the small town to visit some old school friends, and all of the women my age were sitting around comparing the carat size of their engagement rings. It was that single event that perfectly encapsulated everything I hated about living in a small town.

It doesn't sound like you're happy where you are. But do you really need to flee to a ginormous metropolis? There are plenty of medium-sized cities that you and your family might be happy living in.
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Old 03-16-2012, 03:15 AM
 
Location: Valdez, Alaska
2,759 posts, read 4,430,008 times
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Maybe a different town would be better for you. One with a small college perhaps? Not all small towns are the same. Some of them even have really interesting people with lots to do and talk about. As for your daughter, well most kids are stuck wherever they're raised and have to take the opportunity to go see the world once they're grown. Very few children are well traveled or cultured or whatever you want to call it. So encourage her to travel a bit when she gets out of high school, find jobs or educational activities in other areas in the summers, and maybe go to college/trade school/whatever somewhere else. We don't all get to grow up where we would have liked to, but you can encourage her to take charge of her own life and make it what she wants.
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,490 posts, read 38,407,488 times
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Not all small towns are the same, either. On the face of it, the small town that I now live in would seem to be a place where someone like the OP might think they need to "dumb down" in order to interact with the local populace. It's only when getting past that attitude that you find out that the guy who runs the BBQ joint has to leave town to go to Colorado for depositions (he's an attorney who relocated to the area) or that the guy who runs the pizza joint does full-out costuming for renaissance festivals and knows a LOT about medieval history and is a gourmet chef or that the guy who owns the feed store was a mover and shaker back when they were deciding where to locate the supercollider or that most of the farmers and ranchers - the young ones, anyway - have and need college degrees to do their job these days (the older ones know more than the professors at the colleges do, having been there done that for decades, and there's a lot to learn from them) - things like that that just aren't obvious on the face of it. Plenty of intelligent conversation to be had if you can get yourself past your stereotypes to see what's really there right in front of you.

I was fortunate in that, growing up in a small East Texas town, I had it displayed for me. There was one old grandfatherly type, for example, who I never saw in anything but overalls. Daddy and I used to go fishing on the lake on his farm in his jon boat - as a child, I was mostly impressed with the size of the bass that could be caught in that lake. It was years later that I realized who that man was - Clint Murchison, Sr. - and that he could buy small countries if he felt like it. No lack of intelligent conversation available there, but someone who was seeing through stereotypical glasses might think of him as "just a small town farmer with nothing to say".
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:38 PM
 
1,078 posts, read 2,318,881 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swanstone1 View Post
Yah...been doing so for 15 years and totally respect the basics that brought me here to start with....the rest is NOT there. You don't have to "play nice" I do it daily. My neighbors are great on most fronts. They just haven't a clue that life can happen outside logging, milking and syrupping. I do NOT FAULT them...I'm just not in the same boat. Simple observations and acknowledgement is equally simple. I RESPECT the similarities that landed me here but sometimes wonder if I sold myself short at too early of an age. My "skill sets" outweigh theirs on a different level and I have earned that respect on many fronts and those "old school" guys chuckle because I outwork them. We all laugh about it. They are great. I just busted those chops 20 years ago. However, these old guys make me laugh.

My neighbors are the best I'd ever hope to have. I love them! "I just wonder if I settled by trying to hide from the nastiness of a big city. "

You get it or you don't...................

If your neighbors lives do not extend past logging, miling and syrupping then YOU being the outsider must respect that. I could make an outsider who had your attitude very miserable and uncomfortable in our tiny town in Montana. You need to lose your "better than the rest" attitude. Sure you did great in the city but can YOU go logging? Have you ever field dressed a buck, processed it and put it on the table? What you consider "hick" stuff is life to others so don't knock it. You wouldn't last five minutes where I live. The women would eat you alive.
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Old 03-16-2012, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Western Nebraskansas
2,707 posts, read 5,433,956 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swanstone1 View Post
At times I feel like I'm stagnating and I DO try to get my kiddo to move to a more populated place. I feel she is becoming ill equipped to deal with those every day situations that do exist. She needs to learn street smarts as do we all.
for what purpose?
My brother, like myself, grew up in a town of less than 5000 people. My sister in law grew up on a farm outside a town of 200.

They recently moved back to Boston after having left to live in Dublin Ireland for a few years. Neither seems particularly crippled by their small-Nebraska-town handicaps...

Well other than being first round picks when their friends play who-do-I-want-in-my-post-apocolypse-compund. Lol.
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:16 PM
 
2,570 posts, read 2,609,974 times
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Quote:
She needs to learn street smarts as do we all.
Common sense can come to a person regardless of where they are raised.

One of my daughters does church work in inner city places that are considered dangerous by any definition. She gets along very well and can sense how to respond to various situations. She was ranch raised on places that were from 12 to 30+ miles from towns ranging in size from 250 to 3,000. Another moves easily between large urban and very remote areas for her work and recreation, comfortable in both.

If you don't like where you are and have options - move. But saying it's for your daughter seems a bit disingenuous.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:08 AM
 
570 posts, read 1,161,648 times
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I'm trying to think of a nice way to put this....

So to be fair: Not all small towns are created the same, and maybe the OP landed in one that wasn't the right fit for her.

However, to the OP: A dose of being less self-absorbed can go a long way. I'm betting your neighbors can sense your disdain for them (it sure comes across loud and clear in your post). It seems that you need to either fully commit to, and invest in, being a member of your community or move on to somewhere that is better suited to your intellect. If you decide to stay in the community think of "When in Rome": Try to embrace the lifestyle there, and find the good it in (because there is plenty to be found).
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:12 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,967,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daydreamin71 View Post
I'm trying to think of a nice way to put this....

So to be fair: Not all small towns are created the same, and maybe the OP landed in one that wasn't the right fit for her.

However, to the OP: A dose of being less self-absorbed can go a long way. I'm betting your neighbors can sense your disdain for them (it sure comes across loud and clear in your post). It seems that you need to either fully commit to, and invest in, being a member of your community or move on to somewhere that is better suited to your intellect. If you decide to stay in the community think of "When in Rome": Try to embrace the lifestyle there, and find the good it in (because there is plenty to be found).
Absolutely! We moved from a capitol city of almost 470K (2+ million metropolitan area) to just outside a rural village of 130. It was a closely researched and very knowing choice; especially having been professionally involved in large state politics and legislation for 20 years.

I think it all has to do with approach and expectations. If we craved a more urban environment, even for just a day, we could drive the hour to a relatively small city of 150K but find ourselves easily "satisfied" with shopping in the two closest towns (20 miles away) of 4,000 and 7,000.

Dumbing-down? Not in the slightest. Relaxing and enjoying the differences? You bet. We find it restful, peaceful, most satisfying and the local "natives" very real, sincere, welcoming and delightful. They're also very innovative and intelligent.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:04 PM
 
5,326 posts, read 5,212,867 times
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That was/is my problem, I don't fit with big city (or general "middle class") goals of phoniness, accumulation, separation, rat race etc., yet I don't click with 99% of rural folks either because of a mismatch in experiences, interests, general knowledge & education, goals & aspiration, views etc. Preemptive remark, I grew up among very simple traditional rural folks (having remnant of authentic culture to call their own), I'm not a snob, I don't derive a joy from feeling superior to others and showing it, I don't pass as a snob and I have no problems finding something to talk about, etc. Yet, something is missing.

I was "analyzing" the roots of a mismatch and as much as it's politely accepted to find faults in yourself, I came to conclusion that #1 cause of a mismatch is a fact that I live among "upper middle class (as seen on TV) washouts who don't really have an authentic culture & aspirations left to call their own, they just couldn't (for whatever reason) to reach those as seen on TV stars and half of them simply self-destruct because of that, the other half is just as isolated, separated and materialistic etc. as city and suburban crowds (but without city's income, opportunities and education).

That's quite a dilemma, those few individuals who choose rural life need to settle among people who lost their authentic rural ways long time ago and who, for all practical purposes, are just mass manufactured lower social classes trapped in the rural setting. I just accepted the sad reality, picked the lesser of two evils, hopefully I'll bring a tiny bit of something to my setting, maybe not. On the positive side, my sentiments are not uniquely mine, fair share of rural folks sees it my way, you can find somewhat like-minded individuals in the least expected places. The point is - there is no place left to run and hide from surrounding reality of the mass market driven society (here or abroad). So just pick your favorite setting and make a stand
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Old 03-17-2012, 04:20 PM
 
13 posts, read 18,597 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by swanstone1 View Post
I know things I say might immediately seem offensive to anyone who lives in a small town and that is not at ALL my intention and maybe I just don't know how to ask otherwise.

I moved from a southern city of roughly 3 1/2 mill people and it is now 51/2 mill. Granted I grew up just outside that environment and would have fought tooth and nail if I ever would have been forced to live there growing up. So, I grew up. I did move there. I was veryy successful in many male dominated businesses and it was all a piece of cake. However, once I had my own kid, I longed for her to grow up with the old fashioned small town ethics/surroundings I did. I relocated us 2200 miles from home. New England was so much safer...........no drive by shootings at the elementary schools or at my store.

Still, after 15 years, I find myself in a roundabout of emotions. I know I have to dumb myself down to fit in with the locals, whom I have NOTHING in common with. Sure we have our basic small town "roots" but as adults? NIL However, I didn't have a thing in common with big city phony people. I wonder if I compromised my daughters' growth on MANY fronts. Yes, I consider moving back to some "civilization" occasionally but know my heart would break. Funny , but my soul has peace but my head wonders ," What the hell did you do giving me a walking lobotomy."

Ahhh the definition of conundrum................
im from a big city, i now live in a small town they both have there ups and downs, and your feels towards the two will always differ there is nothing that can be done about that i know from personel experiance what you need to do is weigh out the options were would your heart rather be and then its settled but me personelly i like the small town but i love the city and ive delt with that for yrs and always will, as for your kid you need to decide what type of life you want for her, i wouldnt change for a single moment of my childhood growing up in the citys it made me who i am in part and my views are more openminded than what alot of small town folk are, but in the end no matter where you live its the values you instill into her and life experiances your daughter goes through that will shape her views on life, i grew up in a bad area of my city so i was constantly fighting but it taught me how to survive, where as i see sum of these small town kids dont have to worry about that being sheltered by the distances set between the two worlds, but all in all its really up to how you feel your always gonna have mixed feelings, do what you feel in your heart thats right for both of you
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