Most people don't live in the same place their whole lives. Most people don't even live in the same county their whole lives. Some do. But most don't.
Where I come from, they do.
I grew up in Smalltown, Alabama. Population: who knows?
My parents lived there. My grandparents (both sets) lived there. My great-grandmother lived next door to me. Great aunts and uncles live there. Cousins. Regular aunts and uncles.
Most of the people I went to school with had the same type of situation.
My parents graduated from the same high school that my sister and I graduated from. In fact, my great aunt was in the first graduating class there.
In Smalltown, Alabama, most people don't even leave for college. They go to the local college, the local community college, or a combination of both. RARE is a person who leaves for college and even rarer is a person who leaves and doesn't return to build their life there.
The majority of my life, I never really gave much thought to what my life would be like and more specifically, where I would live. I mean, I assumed the "normal" husband, babies, house, etc. But there was never really a location involved. I guess in the back of my mind I thought it would be there in my hometown.
As I entered high school and really started being serious about college, it was ALWAYS Auburn. I wanted to go to Auburn. The closer graduation approached, even with a scholarship offer from the local college, it was STILL Auburn. In fact, I was bound and determined I was going to be different than everyone else in my hometown. Out of the 120 people in my graduating class, MAYBE 10 of us left for another college. I was the only one who went to Auburn.
I got adjusted to living away from home. I met Anthony and fell in love. After a year of being "undecided" I declared a major and worked toward a graduation date. Anthony steadily approached a graduation date. We got engaged. We got married. I finished my one class I needed (along with a few that I didn't need). I interned. I graduated. I got a job while he was in grad school.
It really wasn't until then that "location" started popping up in my head. Where will he get a job? Where will we live? I started looking into the possibilities, but NEVER did I picture even really living outside of Alabama. My hometown was not an option and frankly, I didn't really want it to be. As the job offer locations expanded, I began grasping. I wanted whatever was closest.
And then...he interviewed in sunny, Central Florida. My heart stopped. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. Then...he loved it. Apparently he did not hear my NO's. Then, he got some job offers and the others didn't even compare to the one in sunny, Central Florida. I had no choice. We had to go. God wanted us to. It was what was best for us. Ugh.
So I toughed it out and began trying to form some type of a life here. When we moved I was pregnant. We had our Bug and life has taken on normalcy for us. This is our home. I like it here. I love our house. I love our church. I love our friends.
But sometimes...I wonder what our life would be like if we were in Smalltown, Alabama. Where generations of family are.
I look at facebook, at all my "friends" from there. They all still live there. Two of my friends teach at the elementary school we grew up in. Several go to the church I grew up at. Lots of people I know are having babies at the same hospital we were born in.
I never thought about those options because well...I didn't have them.
It is something I can appreciate now though. The people I know that live there take those things for granted. Even if they realize the niceness of it, it probably won't mean as much to them as it could to me. They don't know just how nice it is to have Grandma & Grandpa down the street to babysit at any given moment. They can't appreciate the niceness of passing down school traditions. They can't possibly understand the easiness of being able to make it to all the family holiday functions in one day. They really don't even understand the convienence and comfort in knowing where everything thing is and where the best places for dance class and t-ball are.
I do not regret my life or my location. I praise God for my husband and my child. I have been blessed abundantly.
it'd be nice to have that stuff.