At twenty-six years of age, I have experienced something that most have not. For some people, the most they could do is move across the city or move across town. Migration is apparently lost to some. More often than not, a city dweller does not know what it is like outside their concrete paradise. Conversely, people does not know about life outside the tranquil countryside. I have had that chance to find out if life exist beyond what I am used to.
I grew up in the countryside. My life was nothing but a rural setting. Now let me stress one thing. You cannot claim that you are from a rural neighborhood when your town alone equals the population of an entire country. If you come from a town of around 14-15,000 or greater, you are not rural. Sorry.
I grew up in a town called West Union in southern Ohio. The population is between 2,800 and 3,000. The town, in terms of area, is somewhat large, so the people in the town is spread out. I lived in an unincorporated portion called Unity, but it was still technically West Union. My hometown (and pretty much the rest of the country) consists primarily of farm land. Farms and Amish. Other than that, nothing. Fields and hills.
We have very little in terms of entertainment. Walmart is the hottest place to go, mainly because that’s the only mall the whole county has. We have some McDonalds and Subways scattered. Other than that, your only way of getting somewhere to do something is to travel 30 miles in any direction.
My neighbors were Amish. No lie. In every direction of my home, there was an Amish family. Unity is notorious for its Amish Community. Every Sunday Afternoon, city folk would tour, making commuting a pain. I’d much rather dodge road apples (google it) than a 76 year-old from Indianapolis. Other than those Sunday afternoons, life was peaceful. Crime in that area was incredibly low. You could leave your car and house unlocked because it was so tranquil and people were home by 8.
I left for Dayton, Ohio in 2013 because for someone to grow, you have to do that in some other place than the countryside. Sure, that’s the ideal place for people to escape to or the best place for people who dislikes the busy life. It is not really the place for someone to make something of themselves, that is unless you are destined to be a farmer. I didn’t own a farm, although I eat and have the strength like a farm boy. I could not find anything that I wanted to do. What I wanted to do required a lengthy education and West Union was not the place to do it.
For three years, I’ve been in the city. I was nervous for a bit from the start. I was not sure if I would hear gunshots or something like that. I got over it… eventually. Being up here for this amount of time, I can honestly say that I do not like this city life. I cannot stand the traffic. All of that exhaust, the speeding Prius’ zooming down the alley… it’s depressing. Everyone is moving so fast. I’m not used to it and I don’t think I ever will be. I believe that the saddest part of the whole city is that there is a lack of nature. I have said that to people and they tell me that there is. That there are Metroparks. It’s not the same. A few acres of woods surrounded by highway and concrete does not constitute as nature. Sorry to disappoint. To me, in comparison, nature here is artificial. Nothing can really flourish because of the never-ending change of the landscape. I want to do something with the landscape. Majoring in Urban Affairs, I want to implement policies where buildings are rehabbed to prevent to constant spreading of shopping malls and restaurants.
In comparison, I have to say that the countryside is tons more better than the city. I do have to admit that there are perks to the city. You can have access to more things and have more a varieties on how you shop. You can meet new people from other lands and expand your cultural knowledge. But, how does that help with your mental health? The stress of constant pressure. You have to GO GO GO! It’ll break you! Go to the sticks and you can move at your own pace.
It’s just an opinion of mine. Unless you have no choice, just distance yourself from the hustle and bustle. Breathe, take care of your mind. The country is the place to be to heal yourself.