I grew up in a very small town in central Virginia.  When I say small, I mean SMALL, only about 500 people when I was in elementary school.   I grew up thinking all towns were like mine.  All the kids went to the same schools, everyone went to one of three churches, everyone shopped at the same markets.  We all even played at the same community center.  We didn’t even have a permanent library until I was in middle school, first we had a book mobile, then a couple of rooms in an old house they hadn’t yet torn down.

I grew up surrounded by down to earth people who looked out for their neighbors, worked hard and played even harder.

The problem is that I hated every moment of it.  I didn’t really fit in with the other kids so I didn’t have many friends.  I wasn’t a great student, news of which followed from one teacher to the next, remember they all knew each other.  I have always been overweight so I wasn’t even good in any type of sports.  I knew there was more for me out in the world but I couldn’t figure out how to get there.

I finally got out into that world but all I can think of is how to get back to that small town.  I miss my family.  I miss the familiarity.  I miss knowing who I can trust and who I can’t because I know everyone in their family back multiple generations.  I miss the simplicity of life, things were just so much slower then.

Most of my family is gone and I only see those left once a year if that.  That small town has grown by leaps and bounds and is no longer that wonderful, quiet place I remember.  I keep it in my head though and go back when I feel this world getting a bit too chaotic.

Don’t take those around you for granted, even those that may get on your nerves.  One day you will look back and won’t even remember the bad times.  Treasure what you have and hold onto it as long as you can.  I wish I had known that earlier, I would have saved myself a lot of heartache.

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