The title of this post sums up what has been going through my head over the past two months. I’ll tackle these one at a time and then make some kind of semi-coherent synopsis that tries to pull everything together. I’m not a writer folks, but the internet lets me pretend that I am from time to time.
Small towns offer something that you don’t get much these days in modern society: the chance to explore all possibilities that life puts in front of you. In small towns, you can walk to work, leave your house wide open, know everyone and their relatives, and most noticeably, have financial flexibility.
My move from a big city (Chattanooga, TN) to a small town (Titusville, PA) can be seen from many different angles. From a financial angle, I make a lot less in Titusville than I did in Chattanooga. But then again, my health care benefits are much nicer and cheaper here in Titusville. The same thing rings true with my mortgage. When I lived in Portland Maine, we paid about $1400/month for an 800 square foot condo. In Chattanooga TN, we paid $678/month for our orange house. Now we own a house and an church building here in Titusville PA and we’re paying about $500/month.
I also should add that my wife and I both suffer from the same disease that cripples most of my generation: student debt. Yes, we made the decision to better our lives by going to college and now we have to pay for it for 10-25 years. But life in a small town makes the student debt thing a lot easier. Of course, it’s still a major hassle and a huge annoyance but at the same time it is manageable when you can live a lot cheaper in a small town. Why anyone would want to pay $2000/month to rent a room and have roommates and deal with student debt is beyond me at this point in my life, but hey, everyone has a right to make their own decisions.
The older I get, the more I think about quality of life. I think about how my day to day life looks and ask myself if I am happy with it. I am. Living cheaply, owning a home, being able to walk to work, and being in a town where everyone knows everyone else makes me happy. I ask myself this question: why isn’t most of my generation doing this as well? Why are they running away from small towns? What are they hoping to get away from? Happiness and a chance to live a fuller life? I dwell on this and I realize that I must live on a different planet from everyone else. Not everyone think like I do and that’s really awesome. Then I doubt myself and want to delete everything that I’ve just wrote.
I think we could all enjoy life a bit more if we took a step back and really thought about the important things: where we live, what we do, and how we confront the situations that face us. I don’t think this crazy thing called life needs to be difficult. I think it can be a whole lot of fun if we just say that we want it to be this way. Maybe I am an alien though and I have a different biological makeup than everyone and that’s why I think this way. I don’t know. I will never know. I am just going to do what I am doing and that’s about it.
I’m on my way I’m making it.
I had it made like a mountain range with a snow white pillow for my big fat head
And my heaven will be a big heaven, and I will walk through the front door