How Did I Get Here, And Where Is The Next Turn?

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Brought up Jun 23, 2013

Small Towns, and Second Chances...

I learned this morning that two folks I went to school with were married Friday. I am so thrilled for them. I was honestly hopping in my chair and almost clapping when I read that. I am friends with them both on Facebook, and didn't know they were even still in touch after all these years. In school, they were both very sweet, and from what I have seen in this techno world, that hasn't changed at all.

It was a very small town where I went to live with my father's family. I graduated with a class of 41 young souls. Yeah, tiny. The fact that these two folks have gotten together after 30+ years, after we have all gone to the four winds, is incredible. Two shy, sweet folks who deserve some happiness in this life, I am over the moon for them.

I've decided that small towns seem to breed unhappiness, for the most part. Sure there are some who never leave the place of their birth, and do fine, but that town? I couldn't get away fast enough. I am among a huge majority there. Some of them only moved to the larger towns near by, but a lot have gone so far as to leave the state. One I know is now in Maine of all places, another in Oklahoma, another in Virginia. There is something about that town that just seems to suck the intelligence, creativity, the very life out of most of those I know who stayed.

What is really sad for me is that at least three of my classmates have left this world to get out of that town, two before the age of 40. One passed out drunk in his car, and choked to death, one of health problems related to alcohol, the other a murder/suicide. These were kids I sat beside in class, talked to, laughed with, one I even worked with after school and one I learned wanted to ask me out, but my half brother threatened to beat him up if he did. It makes me sad to think of them, gone too soon, and deaths that could have been prevented.

A lot of our tiny class has had some serious problems.

It's great to see the ones who have made it out of that town. Even better to see them thriving.

I'm not saying small town life is bad. There are those who have remained in that town all their lives, and done well with out self destructing. Still, It makes me wonder just what it is about small towns, particularly that one, that causes its young to either leave or die trying to get out.

I see my own kids struggling to 'make it' in this town. Sure, it's bigger, but the way things are right now, there is little for them here. I could handle them moving away to do more, if they have to. Hell, I'll go with them if they'll let me. I don't see it happening anytime soon, though. Moving costs money, and Washington seems hell bent on making sure most folks don't have much of that.

Anyway, I am glad to see two of my old school mates finding each other and being happy. Life is too short for anything else. Everyone deserves to take as many chances as it takes to be truly content and happy. Besides, I heard somewhere that 50 is the new 30. I guess that means that many of us are finally getting our lives together at a later time than our parents' generation. Hell, better late than never, right?

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