Never, NEVER did I ever think I would live in a small town. I grew up in a big city, lived in the suburbs, drove through serious rush hours, waited hours for a table at up-and-coming restaurants. I'm a CITY GIRL.
But not any more. I live in a small bedroom community, on the outskirts of a mid-size city, and I LOVE it. My girls were raised in a one-high-school town. Though this can be a real downside to small town life, I loved that we pretty much knew everyone in the school. It made it easier to know who my girls were hanging out with, easier to get to know the families, and it was wonderful to watch all of our young people grow up together.
The city we're near offers enough music, art, and theater to keep us satisfied, and when the girls were young we had lots of options for day trips and free entertainment.
Nowadays, I have to admit, I use the bigger city for my shopping, entertainment, and social needs. The town I actually live in has begun to feel claustrophobic--I teach in this town, and have for over 20 years--so sometimes it's weird to be waited on or served by former students. I don't really enjoy having my students' parents perusing my shopping cart to see what I'm buying, and I definitely don't want to listen to local taxpayers complain about how teachers are paid too much while I'm getting my hair cut, or trying to relax at the local coffee shop. So I retreat to the city, where I can disappear.
I'm grateful for my house, and my immediate surroundings. I still love working in a smaller school district--the people I work with are fantastic. I'm grateful for my big-city upbringing, and for my nightly retreat to small town America. But you can't entirely take the city girl out of me.