September 28, 2012

How Part of Me Remains a Country Boy

I’ve never strongly identified with being a country boy. I’ve never had much appreciation for playing outside. I don’t like trucks, dirt roads, animals, or country music. There are very few ways in which I am socially conservative/traditional. As soon as I have the means, I never want to live in a rural area again.

With that said, going to college and dating/being engaged to a suburban girl has shown me many of my personal preferences which linger from my country roots.

For one, my desire has always been to get married as soon as possible once I was done with school. I wanted to marry my ex-girlfriend after high school (her dumping me put a damper on that), and I’ve wanted to marry my fiancee straight after college (which is how she became my fiancee, go figure).

My idea for the future has been her and I picking a place to live and then finding work in that area. That way we would be able to live together. Her mindset has been finding work first, and after a while one of us can relocate to the other.

Now I am going to preceed to make some over-generalized observations, but bear with me.

In my rural upbringing, the people around me didn’t move much, and when they did, they didn’t move far. My family was considered to have moved far, far away when we moved one county over from where I was raised. The idea is that we invest in a home, land, community, and we find work that will allow us to continue to grow that investment. It limits the opportunities for making more money, depending on what jobs are available in the area, but it also requires less money to survive.

In suburbia, it’s nothing for families to move from one suburb to another, only thinking in the mindset of cities (there is “nothing” between DC and Richmond, nevermind that there are plenty of counties and communities spanning the 100 miles between the two). The idea is that a better paying job elsewhere will cover the cost (financial, social, emotional) of moving. Suburban kids are more likely to have grown up seeing neighbors come and go in this manner. The opportunies for better pay are greater, but so is the need for that larger income.

I’m not going to say one frame of mind is better than the other, just that the former is what I have observed and that the latter comes off to me as wasteful. But I am a product of my upbringing just like everyone else, and it looks like I will have to change in this area.

Hopefully it gets easier soon.