Maybe this is the late night talking, or the fact I just finished watching Back to the Future, or maybe because I watched a five minute montage of the people and my home town on youtube, but I know now (at least 99.5% sure) that I want to live in a small town again. Maybe not Lomond, but a small town.
I used to wonder why people came back to live in Lomond. In one of the hallways of my school, above the water fountain every high school/junior high student used to drink out of, was a row of graduation pictures from way, way back. One of which, being almost directly above the water fountain itself, was the graduation picture of my dad’s class. All of us students used to point and laugh at out parents, because almost every single one of our parents graduated from Lomond, and there we were, excited to graduate as well, leave and unlike our parents, never come back. My dad was a couple grades ahead of my best friend’s mom, as well as my other best friend’s dad. They all came back, and I could never wrap my head around why? Not going to lie, I had my moments of absolutely hating Lomond school, and in grade nine, I nearly decided to transfer to Vauxhall, but I didn’t, I graduated with a group of nine kids I started kindergarten with (ten when you include the random that moved in junior high).
Because I am a lot like my dad (at least that is what I am told), a little quiet, but pretty dang awesome once you get to know better 😉 he used to tell me how he also wanted to leave Lomond far behind. I always asked him why he didn’t, and he never gave me a straight answer. He always replied with “I have no idea.” But I know now. Deep down, he loves it. He will never admit it, but he does. How could he not? How could he not love watching Christmas concerts where his kids get to be stars? (Like when my nerdy little brother and his buddy Leighton fought over use of the microphone when they were in grade 1–grade 2?? I can’t remember when for sure) How could he not love watching all the sports we played because we didn’t have an option? There were never try-outs. I played volleyball not because I wanted to, but because we needed players to make a team. And to be honest, I was never that good, but I loved it. How could he not love knowing his kids could walk to the skating rink after school for practice and be safe? (Except for the time when Rachelle and I were listening to Aqua in her room and we swore someone knocked on the door and was going to kidnap us) Everything about Lomond was alright. Looking back now, I cannot complain. I had the same teachers for six years in a row, like Mr.Hiebert who used to look over our shoulders during a science experiment and make a sly “hmmm”, making you wonder if you were doing it right or not (and he would never let you know). I had the same kids in my class for twelve years (plus or minus others who came and went), like the few annoying ones who bugged me constantly for answers because I was the only nice one who would cave in (Matthew and Nathan were often too competitive for marks). School was always safe. We didn’t have locks on our lockers (although it would’ve been nice considering good snacks in your lunch always went missing by noon hour), we didn’t have to worry about real lock-downs happening, we didn’t have to worry about much other than our mothers who decided against our will to work at school. (Mianna and I could hear our mothers laugh from any room in the school). It was nice, it was comfortable, it was home.
Calgary is a great city, it has quite a bit to offer, but it doesn’t even compare to a small town feel. Everyone knows you, everyone cares about you from the moment you awkwardly get on the school bus for your first day of kindergarten. I am often sad I didn’t enjoy it more growing up. I always thought bigger and better things were elsewhere, but I am starting to realize the better things are right in the moment I am living in. Even now, as I plan my escape to Asia, I know that a year from now I am going to look back and wish I made better use out of my time in Calgary, that I would’ve tried to get to know people here better, that I would’ve tried to explore every inch of this unique city. It’s hard to start thinking this way because once you get into routine, things become boring and your mind runs off to another place you think you should be. I’ve never given a place a proper chance.
I poke fun at my brother for liking Lethbridge so much and I need to stop because he has put his all into that city. He has made it his home. I know I am only 23, and this is my time to travel, experience new things, and make memories, but eventually I am going to have to make a place my home. This scares me, choosing and committing, but more and more I am feeling drawn to settle down in a small town again. If its Lomond, sure great, might be weird having my kids see my graduation picture on the wall and asking why I was dumb enough to stay, but if it happens that way, it happens that way. Honestly, it would be nice having a farm down the road to my mom and dad’s so my kids can walk across the field to see grandpa and grandma whenever they want. I am becoming fond of this idea, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the direction I head. (Again, I am not saying I would move back to Lomond, but it is a small option). This summer, I even sat at the beach of the bible camp I used to work at (don’t hold me to this), but I mentioned to my sister that I would be happy to come back and work full-time media. These are all crazy thoughts, and I can’t believe I am even thinking them (anyone that truly knows me would find this absolutely astonishing), but I am admitting, I want to go back to small town living.
After Thailand, I don’t know what’s next, maybe Toronto with my sister, maybe the Caribbean to continue scuba diving, maybe even Australia to work as an au pair, but I know one thing is for sure. I will come back. I will come back to a farm. I will come back to a small town.