Sometimes when we think of small towns, we think of open country filled with calmness, a bit of boredom and not much more. If you are relatively young, boredom might be the best and only way to describe it. Having the privilege of growing up in a small town before the age of 18, and moving to the city during my early 20’s, I’ve learned to appreciate the quiet and even the nothingness that comes over you when you’re city outside on that summer night with nothing planned for the night ahead. This is especially true on the weekends if you’re not the hardcore drinking type, which I definitely am not. I’ve thrown my fair share of shade at that small town feel, but honestly, I’ve learned to appreciate it and all its small glory. When I moved to a big city, I loved telling my friends that I was from Smallville, Kansas. I got a little upset when they didn’t get the reference.
Growing up in a small town in Kansas, was pretty cliché and I loved every minute of it. Hanging out with friends and playing basketball was all I ever did. I enjoyed just being able to meet up with friends without having to worry about traffic or money or even violence like you would find in a big city. Another benefit we had was that my parents have a house on 2 acres of land with plenty of trees. This was our favorite location for a good ol’ fashioned game of Cops and Robbers. All of our cousins and friends would come over and we would play until the middle of the night, without having to worry about danger or noise complaints. That freedom and peacefulness that you get are what make it all worth it when growing up in a small town. It’s just hard to compete with the calmness and tranquility of it all.
Now I’m not trying to bash on the urban life. I actually have so much love for it as well. There are so many beautiful things in the city. There’s so much to do and so much to see. I lived in the city for 8+ years and I miss it more than ever. I will definitely move back soon. I miss all my dear friends and all the wonderful excitement and buzz that you get from the city. There’s always something going on and something to explore. You definitely never run out of things to do, especially if you can afford all the amenities that a city provides. This was somewhat difficult for me because at the time I was going to school. Being a broke college student didn’t help much, but I still definitely enjoyed the city life.
I’ve talked about the experiences of living in a small town and almost left out one of the biggest factors that make a small town great: the pleasant people. I’ve met some amazing people growing up in rural Kansas. There’s just a calmness that comes with growing up in a small city and this carries over to your mood and how you treat other people. I find it fascinating when I meet new people and hear a little bit about their story. This is especially true with a small town because sometimes they tell you things you wouldn’t expect and open up your eyes to other gems found in rural Kansas.
Small town people and small town business go hand in hand. Shane Bangerter, one of the regulars at my parent’s restaurant, is one of these people. I went to school with his son but never got to meet Mr. Bangerter until he stopped by our restaurant. From there, I got the chance to get to know him and listen to his stories from his law firm that he has in town, his love for Premier Vizslas and how he loves to fly his awesome airplane in the skies of Kansas. These are all interesting things that you just isn’t the same in a big city. And honestly, that’s okay. Because that’s what makes a small town so beautiful.
These are all interesting things that are mostly exclusive to a small town. Just like the city and all its amazing wonders, a small town has plenty to offer, if you look hard enough. It’s about appreciating all the positives of both types of living. It’s about seeing the little things of a small town and realizing how much grander those sentiments are compared to the actual city size. And looking back, I’ve learned to appreciate it that much more.