Are you glad you moved here?
Don't you miss the city? There isn't much to do around here.
Nine years later, I still field these questions weekly.
Am I happy I moved here? Um, yes. Have we met??
I know. There is nothing going on here. Have you read the local paper? There is nothing newsworthy in it AT ALL. In fact that's almost the first thing I noticed when I moved home from Minneapolis. There were no stories of rape, murder, corruption, prostitution or local sex trafficking rings. Also, no notices on my front door to announce that a convicted sex offender had just moved into the neighborhood.
Just what do people read for fun around here?
There is no Target either. Not for MILES. Where do people buy soap? Am I actually going to have to go online and wait for THREE days if I want a new pair of shoes? Or worse, take a day with my girlfriends to road trip to an actual shopping mall? What we will do in those three hours? Drink coffee and chat and make fun of our husbands behind their backs and eat lunch together? Ugh. How do people manage this life?
Worse yet, I may actually have to go into local stores and meet the owners and see what they have to offer. I may have to go to two different businesses to find what I am looking for. I mean if the first store doesn't have it, I know they are going to refer me somewhere else in town that could be six blocks away. Or worse, they'll probably try to special order it or make it for me.
What do people do on weekends? Do they just hang out all day in one of the beautiful parks? Spend all day on the lake? And how do they fill the evenings? I'll probably have to visit local festivals, go to high school sporting and music events and the local community theatre. Or pay $3 for a matinee at the movie theater. Or invite friends and family over for loud, kid filled gatherings.
What if I miss the city?
I'll have to drive there and spend the weekend to catch up on everything. And I'll have to do it without actually having to deal with real life stuff that gets in the way when you live there like taking care of a house and yard and going to kids' activities. It will probably feel like a big vacation.
I get it.
There were so many advantages to living in a metro area, so much right at our fingertips. But in the end, we found ourselves hanging out in the backyard with our little family and our friends and dogs. And the thing is, when you realize what's most important in life, it doesn't matter where you live. There is room for growth in Emmetsburg, in every rural community. For culture and arts and business.
But that room is exactly why I love living here, it allows us the time and space to create our life just as we like it. The time and space to enjoy family and friends and put down deep roots. I'd choose that time and space, this blank slate, this little rural small town over again and again. And I'm thrilled to see so many other young families doing the same.
Until we meet again, Target. Peace out.