I've had enough, I'm getting out
Recently, writer and artist Austin Kleon heard back from quite a few angry twitter fans when he wrote this:
People were coming at him with all kinds of responses, but they basically all said the same thing: He was wrong. So he had to explain himself. And while he provided a lengthy explanation via his website, he also provided this tiny little gem:
And I love, capital L love this sentiment.
Ed and I have spent about half of our 'adult' lives in cities. From San Francisco to Philadelphia, we have taken advantage of everything 'the city' has to offer, from cultural opportunities to late night restaurants and bars to theatre and people and shows and coffee shops on every corner. And we have loved it.
And now, I live in a small town. Not just any small town, but the actual small town where I was raised. Just a mile and a half from the house where I grew up, where my parents still live. (Hi, mom).
And sometimes, and really, more than sometimes if I'm being completely honest, I really miss the city. I miss the hustle and the bustle and the sounds, the anonymity that comes from being one of so many, the countless artisans and opportunities to be inspired. I do. I miss that stuff a lot.
But here's the funny thing. In all the time that I lived in a city, I never once became the thing I thought I would or could be. I never once dove in.
I wanted to act, and barring that option, I wanted to write. Instead, I worked in publishing, as a teacher, as a store manager and as a grad student. I had the same opportunities there as I do here. A computer. The internet. And countless newspapers. In fact, there were more opportunities in both cities than there were, and are, here.
But I never jumped. I knew just what to do, but I couldn't seem to make myself do it. The pond was just too big for me to feel comfortable taking the risk. So while I was surrounded with a whole lot of interesting things, I wasn't really brave enough to do the things that were most interesting to me.
Fast forward to small town life. Things aren't really quite as 'happening' as they used to be. On my street, I watch the leaves change colors. I notice the seasons. I am daily inspired by my kids and things I read and do, but let's face the facts...I'm not opening my door to a city block. I'm opening my door to quiet.
As it turns out, quiet might be just what I needed. Because here, in what is a much smaller pond than the cities where I've previously lived, I'm forging the life that I've always wanted.
It's so weird that what I railed against during all my adolescence, what I swore I would never return to...my home town...would be exactly where I needed to live to become what I wanted to be.
And so, not to be a total cheeseball but I'm feeling oddly sentimental about this, I'll close with some different lyrics.
No I cannot forget where it is that I come from,
Danielle Davies (@daniellendavies) is the creator of the internet sensation, My Life with Bradley Cooper, as well as a writer and artist living in New Jersey. Read more...
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