my return to small town life.

Eight months ago, we moved into our new home -- thirty minutes from the conveniences of a city. {cv} and I made the conscious choice to remove ourselves from the hustle and bustle. Though we grew up in small towns roughly a thousand miles apart, our early years were spent in the confines of a town which has less inhabitants than some New York City apartment complexes. I miss some of the conveniences of the city (like good sushi and my favorite dry cleaner), but I relish the quiet of our small town life. 

To frame up this discussion, it is important to give a little background. All my life, I have been an extreme extrovert. I introduce myself to strangers in elevators. I chose to go to a school where I didn't know a single soul. However, in the last year, I noticed that I don't need that social interaction in the way I did ten years ago. To be honest, I am having a hard time deciphering whether our move, motherhood, or age has made me more of an introvert. 

Stranger still, I don't hate this conversion of sorts. My husband is an introvert, through and through. It is highly possible he is rubbing off on me. While I still love my short stints in cities -- be it for travel or work, there is something deeply peaceful about pulling into our driveway and leaving the craziness behind. Living in this deeply "social" world, however, you are never really that far from the constant firestorm of reminders that my world is much different than many of the people I follow on Instagram or elsewhere. 

The hardest part of this shift just might be the fact that, as petty as it sounds, my life seems less "Instagram-worthy" than those who live in more happening places. I fear that my followers will find my quiet life boring and feel compelled to press that unfollow button. As an extrovert, this is based in my desire to be accepted -- something which I have struggled with my whole life. (Everyone wants to be part of the cool crowd, right?) I realized recently that the sooner I accept that not everyone will like that small town life, the better off I will be. I love the life I've been given. My new introverted side reminds me that my family and my friends matter most. More importantly, I know I cannot determine my self-worth based on the approval of random strangers on the internet. 

In the midst of this self-reflection, I wondered (honestly) why anyone reads here. In the beginning, I shared a great deal about surviving our long-distance relationship. I posted collages about outfits I wanted to wear. I had a never-ending fount of creative energy. In the last few months, I have recoiled a bit to determine what it is I want to do with my blog and how I can bring some sort of good from it. I have always said that I won't waste your time with worthless posts, so my goal is to continue blogging with intention. Small town life may make my Instagrams a little less exciting, but I still have things to share -- which I hope will help you, inspire you, and encourage you in your own life. Bear with me as I get that footing, but I promise: I'm not going anywhere.

Somewhere, deep inside, I always knew I was best suited for small town life. I grew up in the small town John Mellencamp so famously sang about in 1985. When I left that small town in 2003, I would have never guessed you would find me back in the boondocks. I loved my formative years in southern Indiana, but I was ready to escape -- as most 18-year-olds are. Finding myself back in a small town 12 years later, I am more than content to share this 'slower' world with our son. We still have plenty to discover in our new small town, but we will get there. For now, I will remind myself that good things take time. I will always have a place in my heart for the years I spent in DC and Providence, but this coastal small town life is fine by me. As I learn to navigate life with this new (yet somehow familiar) perspective, I am so grateful to have you along for the ride. xoxo {av}