Depending on when you started reading this blog, you may or may not have followed the Green Acres reenactment documented here. If you didn’t, it may help with perspective if you catch up. If you did, great…let’s pick up where we left off.
Before we go forward though, let’s acknowledge that to industry standard of blogging something on here will offend someone. That’s the point. Those are the things that make us think critically. And today we will think critically about concrete jungles.
City life is suffocating. City life is suffocating and we often don’t even know why. We attribute it to the stress of our jobs, bills, the traffic, the weather, and family-work life balance accompanied by a laundry list of other things. It lacks the freedom and peace of life outside the metro areas where you embrace those around you and not only see, but feel your surroundings. You see yourself in the mirror, not the clock in the background telling your you’re late yet again.
Here in the city, we wake up and do the same thing every day. Same time, same place. Every 5th house is the same- literally the exact same floor plan- just different colors on the walls. Builders scoot by because we want what our neighbors want (or at least we think we do) and of course, it’s the cheapest way to do it and how much of an investment are we really looking to have here? It’s not like it’s our forever home. We will have to move again in 5 years because this just isn’t the right fit. We have the same car, just a different color and of course, everything is a competition.
It’s a race to and from the city to work and back. Sometimes to and from the suburbs. It matters not, though, because it’s all just miles upon hours just roasting in a concrete vacuum that literally and figuratively sucks the life out of you while you grow to hate thy neighbor because they just cut you off on your morning commute and you both needed those two car lengths but you were distracted by the slew of emails and didn’t quite stay close enough to that bumper in front of you. They snuck in and now your mood is altered.
You work all day but you don’t remember much about it. At 5 pm, you hop in the car back to the concrete vacuum because one hour in the morning wasn’t enough. You may take a moment to think about “what else is out there” but the honking and expletives quickly shake you from that.
You return home to reflect on what you did that day, searching for something, anything tangible, that you produced but there is nothing. You go to bed early because you have to do it all over again tomorrow. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
What happened to small town America? What happened to the producers? The foundations of a quality life? I once heard that you don’t add value unless you mine it, manufacture it, or grow it. Sure, we do other things too, like provide services, but for what? What is our purpose? Some people love their job, but most either love their job or just love the fruits of their labors. I could make this immensely political, but I’ll refrain.
Mostly I want to know what happened to the longevity of a life? Establishing roots? Where is the love of community? How can we help our neighbor if we never meet them? We never meet them because we’re never home. We work hard to afford a home and things we never get to enjoy because we’re too busy earning. What are we teaching our children if we spend two hours with them before bed? How much of us is passed off to them if we’re not around? What IS our purpose? What do we want to leave behind?
If you love your city life, I suggest staying here. Don’t leave. Don’t go breathe. Don’t drive on a dirt road where the only thing that slows you down is your own fear. Because when you get back, you won’t know what to do and you’ll feel the choke hold of the rat race that is inescapable and leaves you wondering everyday, ‘What is different about today?’
These days, on the off-chance that I get to cruise on the expressway upwards of 80 mph, it’s freeing. It’s a brief escape and I can almost feel free if I close my eyes for just a couple of seconds…just before I hit the I-285 merge and it starts all over again. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.