Friday, October 29, 2010

Unintentional Living

I have neglected to consider certain aspects of my life...because I am distracted by them. Have you ever felt that feeling? One day you just consider something you never considered before? You think about it. Anything really fits into this "category" of sorts. Simple to complex. We forget to consider the life we are living....because we are blinded by it in a way.
I don't remember the first time I realized that I grew up in a small town. That moment where I got a glimpse of it's insignificance. I don't recall when I connected that very thought with my own life. I suppose it started when I left for awhile. I heard once that the best way to understand one's own culture is to be immersed in a completely different one. I feel that way about my hometown. I remember driving to Saginaw for the first time: petrified. One doesn't grow up in a place with three stop lights and naturally adapt to four lanes of traffic.
I lived on a dirt road. A dying breed. It was natural to watch billows of sand dip and swirl through the rear view mirror. I could make it to my place of employment in exactly three minutes. Or less. I never considered it odd that my brother and I found entertainment in driving to the library or scouring local stores that no one would ever recognize by name.
Was it unusual that my friends and I would take special trips to the local thrift store in search of unique finds? Perhaps we were looking for a way to express ourselves in an area that left little room for difference.
Growing up in a one mile radius of extended family was not considered unique....but quite normal. I found literal significance in walking through the woods to Grandma's house.
It never crossed my mind that I was immersed in simplicity and there was a huge world outside the windows I looked out. Even now, years later, I'm still overcome by a feeling of impact when I return. Almost dumbfounded. That I never considered my life. Never questioned it. Never examined my roots. Never thought of anything outside of it. Lest you get the wrong impression, I do not equate simplicity and smallness with negativity. I don't consider myself better for leaving. I simply find my hometown a constant lesson to myself. A reminder that one can become so consumed with their world (no matter how tiny or big) that they forget to consider it . The smallest amount of hind-sight is all it takes to learn from living.

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