Back to “civilization” for 2013.

Kansas City Skyline

I always hated the way city people indirectly referred to the country as “uncivilized.” You know, you hear someone passing through a small town saying, “I can’t wait to get back to civilization.” I can’t help but laugh at that, … Continue reading

A page from Brooke Clay’s book — I’m rural gone urban!

Although, when I can step out of my apartment and walk a block and see a view like this, I can handle "strange."

As I prepare for my 4th week in my full-time big kid job, and start my 4th week here in Kansas City, I realize I’m behind on chronicling this massive adventure. Two years ago, I never would have believed that … Continue reading

An Ode to Country Roads

My city slicker friends won’t get this, especially not the ones who are born-and-bred suburbanites or urbanites. And that’s okay; different strokes for different folks. As I prepare to embark on the next chapter of my life, a chapter wrapped in urban life, a one-bedroom apartment downtown, I’m more sentimental than ever about rural life. I’m thrilled for the next step, but I also know that the fond memories I have now of these wide open spaces and familiar places will have to last me a little longer.

The road my mom and stepdad live on.

I’ve been listening to one song on repeat a lot lately. Usually, I’m in the car with the windows down, the wind whipping my hair, sunglasses on and my left arm (which is now a darker shade of “pale” than my right arm) resting on the edge of the driver side window. And, I’m usually on a wide open road, tar-and-chip or gravel or dirt.

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Shaking Off the Suburban Blues

I’ve written about my love-hate relationship with the suburbs a few times. There’s just something suffocating about it; it’s slower than the fast-paced, energizing city, but way faster than the low-key places I considered “home” for most of my life. The skies are smaller, the roads are busier, and there’s just this feeling of suburban monotony.

That’s not to say there aren’t benefits of going to school here. There are plenty of resources at my disposal, and I’m a short drive or train-ride from Chicago. I have my pick of restaurants, stores, movie theaters, clubs, hangouts…it’s not bad. It’s just not always “me.” And it’s even less “me” after I’ve been living with my parents for a month over break. You get used to a different pace, and while it’s nice to have a routine again, it’s strange to be reacquainting myself with my suburban home-away-from-home. Continue reading

A Country Girl’s Reflection on Suburban and Urban Living

Until I left for college, I had lived in the same house my entire life. It was a modest ranch house on a rural highway in small-town Illinois. Our large back yard butted up against a field, which was either high-oil soybeans or white corn, depending on the year. My hometown was paradise, and I thought that it was the only place on Earth I’d ever want to be.

I had a lot to learn about who I was and where I could end up.

Views like this made Momence seem like the only place I could ever be happy.

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8 Things for a Student to Consider About Relocation

I graduate from college in…eight months. (Yes, I did just take time to count it out on my fingers.) Eight months. The next eight months will fly by, and come graduation day I’ll be crying, wondering where my college years disappeared to and mourning the end of an era. I’ve spent a long time saying that I’m ready to be done with school, and while I am, nostalgia and reality have given me a strong taste of “enjoy-it-while-it-lasts-itis.” I have to balance myself carefully between making the most of the here and now and preparing for the future.

It’s no secret that I hope to find work outside of Illinois. I feel like it’s time for the next big adventure in life. Because of that, I’ve been spending a lot of time researching locations that I’d like to live at or near. I’ll follow the job offers wherever they take me, but it’s also nice to stay educated on where you could end up. Because of that, I’m putting together a checklist of things a college student should consider when looking into new places to reside.

Where will I end up? Who knows!

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