When you live in the countryside, and in particular when you grow in it, you somehow feel the world growing and distancing itself from where you are, and it is, I believe, a really unique experience. You notice that the older you get, the farther life tries to throw you. You notice that your kindergarten is likely close, your elementary school in the nearest small town, and your future high school in the nearest city. You then find out that the university that will probably give you the best forthcoming opportunities is even in a farther city, far away from your original warm nest, and all of this usually come with whirling speed and demand for important decisions.
And it’s usually a matter of time and of trades, welcoming the new and saying goodbye to the old, adopting new lifestyles and choices. You slowly start noticing that there are less stars at night and that everybody seems going at a faster speed, paying less attention to what is around, to nearby life, both human and not. That cars are noisier than they seemed, and that sometimes the air is not as good. That jogging at sunset will never have the same genuine and unpretentious taste it once had.
On the other hand, when you finally move, you get to experience what living “near” actually means. You get the comfort of readily reaching most of the places you need to get to without long and often stressful commutes, the relief of being able to wake up 1 or 2 hours later than usual, without the lurking fear of losing your train or bus. You get to meet both the city natives and the people that just as you did, moved from small towns and countrysides to run towards their dreams. You also get a fast internet connection! Usually much faster than the almost null one you had back in the days. You surely feel more connected to your environment, to your job and university, but what about the real people around you? Sometimes, it easily comes to one’s mind, as it once did to mine, that the connection you may develop in a context that stresses so much interconnection but is excessively hectic would naturally be flawed or not as strong as one that blossoms in a rural setting. But I would like to say that the mere fact that cities are a more fertile context for milder connections doesn’t necessarily mean that they would need to be like that. In my point of view then, is that our mission as conscious young people of a world that quickly grew distant of our original roots is to fight for sincerity and simplicity where it wouldn’t naturally grow. To be, maybe, individual voices in a silent sea, but that would, at the end, add up to a significant alternative zephyr in today’s cities status quo.