I told one of my friends the other day that living in a small town was starting to make me feel mean.
It’s a little disappointing to find out the darling of the local Chamber of Commerce is also the Mouth of the South and gossips a tear about everyone and people still love her or that everyone under the sun pretends to know your business, sometimes even better than you know it yourself. Stories get shared and lies abound and some days you wonder why you got out of bed. Why not just stay inside with the covers over your head and let them create this imaginary and dubious existence you’re allegedly already living anyway?!
People that do this make me want to keep to myself and only come out when it’s absolutely necessary. Seriously! Do I really need any more friends like them? Lately I feel mean and antisocial and anyone that really knows me knows that I’m a social butterfly and lover of all things peoplely.
I’ve realized this is a lesson everyone eventually learns and it’s good that I’m finally being educated, even if it’s at the expense of the lovely small town I live in now.
I am learning how to be more selective and discriminate with my time and attention. I am learning about the quality of relating to another human being rather than the quantity of never truly connecting to a bunch of folks that can’t even spell your name right, flakes every time they say you’ll get together or can’t pick you out of a line-up after months of gathering in the same spot. I am learning what it feels like to be cared about as a good friend rather than the heartbreak of being excluded because one person doesn’t like you.
Life isn’t about how many people will remember you after you die. Life is about those special moments that make every day a blessing to be alive. Trust me, when you’re dead you won’t mind one bit about all of those high maintenance people you let go when you decided to finally start living your life for your happiness and not just for theirs.
When I am feeling overwhelmed about odds and ends going on around me in my life I tend to make lists. I even subscribe to a blog that’s all about making lists and she comes up with some good ones! Marelisa Fabrega’s blog is called Daring to Live Fully and she recently posted an entry entitled 60 Lists to Make When You Need a Mood Lift. Check this one out and others she has written about living your best life.
What kind of list would I make when I’m overwhelmed with the minutiae of living in a small town and want to spend the day in bed with the covers pulled over my head?
- In a small town it’s easier to find the really good people because they shine like stars.
- You never have to drive far to find ice cream, a movie theater or a park to meander through.
- I live across the street from the ocean. What’s the beauty of your geography?
- It’s okay to spend time with yourself whether you’re lounging in your jammies in front of the television, or gardening, being alone is the best time in the world some days.
- I am my own best friend. Being popular is not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s a lot of work and anxiety because you are always going to be pissing someone off. It’s nice to have someone to chat with or lunch with occasionally, but that’s not where I find happiness or self-worth. I make my own happiness.
- The people that think you’re a little strange, or a bitch, or simply unlikable, are not people you need in your life anyway. Be glad they stay away from you. LOL!
- Your best friend does not have to live down the street. You can have friends, a lot of friends, and still not have that one local friend you can tell your secrets to. That’s okay! You can pick your good friends, but you can’t always pick where you find them. Spend the time you have now to get to know the person you are and work on improving those traits you might not like. One day you’ll wake up and realize your best friend is closer than you think because she/he will be looking back at you in the mirror.
- The big city is usually just a car ride away.
- It’s easier to immerse yourself in the local culture in a small town.
- I can ride my bicycle or walk to just about anywhere here I need to go.
When you become selective with your time you look for those quality moments that will bring you the most satisfaction and fulfillment. You stop looking for those quick fixes and instant karmas and enjoy the ride instead.
I’ve even slimmed down my social media so it feels more like the message I want to share now instead of the unorganized mess of always being on the prowl for that next great thing.
I have realized I do not need to hang out with the in-crowd and I don’t want to wear the trending fashion or drive the cutest car. I want to have great conversations with good friends and I want to be comfortable in my skin and in knowing the choices I make are ones I make with confidence and love and not out of desperation or the fear of being left out or alone. When you finally know yourself and start to love the person you have worked so hard to become, those other things don’t matter anymore.
Until next time this is Madeline Laughs and I’m a work in progress with the key word being PROGRESS. We are all making headway to a better place in life and I’ll meet you in yours.