Friday, February 8, 2013

Courses Taken or No Regrets

I got a little reflective during my break today, thinking about how my life would have been different if I grew up in Virginia Beach instead of Warsaw. Would I still feel like a basket case on the inside? Would I be more or less of a social butterfly/extrovert? I honestly don't know, but it's always good to spend a minute and think about how things could have been, and then bottle it to be put away forever.

I was always bitter at my parents as a child and especially as a teen for having to grow up in a town of 300. I could not understand the benefits of country living when I wanted to be a city boy so badly. I always enjoyed my trips to Virginia Beach in the summers and Richmond around Christmas. I thought it was much preferable to living in a house surrounded by three cornfields and nothing but woods for miles.

I didn't have a movie theater to go to. Our school had few social functions outside of sports. I really didn't care for anyone at my school. I just grew up hating everything. Such a sad way to start a life, but it was a course that I chose to take. I like many wish I could go back to that time knowing what I do now. Things would have been more bearable at least.

The past couple years I came to fully embrace and accept my parents' decision as a good one. I was able to learn about nature in life in ways that I would not have in the city. I feel my world view is much broader growing up in the back of a store where I got to talk to veterans of World War 1, 2, Korea, Vietnam, etc. I became more street smart and blessed with common sense in the country far more than on the actual streets of Norfolk. I learned about farming, sustainable living, overcoming family drama, and so many things other benefits that a front porch lifestyle can bring.

If I think about it, I was just a backwards kid.  I would have been a backwards kid in the city just as much in the country. Simply add a few hundred dangerous scenarios to the mix and who knows if I'd even be here today.

What's more important is making who I am better every day by learning, by being a friend, by starting a family, and by working hard. Finally I learned to appreciate the things I have, the things I had, as well as the things that I never had. Gratitude!

Thanks, Mom and Dad. As usual, you were right again.