I’m going to go off subject for this post. But some major changes may be happing in my life soon. I might be moving to a larger city. Which excites me as most of my friends and family have already moved to larger areas. I’m pretty much the last person of my group of friends left in a rural area. My father has been saying since the 1980s that rural America’s greatest export isn’t crops but it’s most intelligent young people. I didn’t believe him when I was in school because even though I was around some troublemakers who didn’t want to be there, I could find smart people to hang out with whenever I wanted. It wasn’t until I got out of college and into the workforce did I realize just how right my father was. Finding intelligent people to have in depth and far flung intelligent conversations with is brutally tough. And it got tougher the older I became.
I should have known something was amiss when most of my friends left the rural area I lived in and went to major cities to find jobs requiring lots of brain power. Even most of my cousins moved to larger areas. One cousin of mine lived in a suburb of our state capital but still telecommuted from his home for several years. Even I telecommute with this blog. I wouldn’t have anywhere near the reach without the internet. Yet I think I could do even better if I was in a larger city with more in person contacts. I stayed in a rural area mainly because of my family and wanting to be close to family while I worked though life with a mental illness. Now my parents are talking about moving to Oklahoma City to be near my brother and his family. If they go, I’m going with them. It was always my plan that I would move to be near my brother after my parents died. But I might not have to wait that long. Besides, I like having my parents around.
It’s not that I am anti social or don’t like communicating with people. I love having intelligent conversations. A half hour intelligent conversation with family members or old friends is enough to recharge my batteries for a few days. Intelligent conversation and learning new things actually makes me feel physically good. It gives me a high that no drug, money, or woman can duplicate. Yet I don’t get that much in the low income housing complex or rural town I live in. I didn’t used to believe it, but I now really believe that there is a “brain drain” that is taking really smart people out of rural areas and sending those brains to urban and suburban areas where there are high paying jobs that require lots of brain power to accomplish. I have met some really sharp farm workers and factory workers over the years of living in rural areas. But I still think they could be doing much better had they gotten some high tech education and moved to a larger city.
Most of my friends in high school and college were really sharp people. As a result, all of them moved out of the rural area I grew up in. And most of them are making pretty decent money. My brother is an engineer for a large firm and so is his wife. He wouldn’t be doing nearly as well had he stayed in the rural areas. A friend of mine living in a Midwest city and her husband are considering moving to the coast because of better job opportunities. My parents are considering moving to Oklahoma City to be closer to the grandkids. If they move, then I won’t be far behind. Part of me has always wanted to see what life in a city was like. I do find it annoying that public transit doesn’t really exist in my town. If I had access to public transit, I’m not sure I’d even own a car. I don’t like driving. I never have. And I know many younger people don’t even want to own cars.
I have never lived in a city. Yet pretty much every one I know who lives in rural areas are trying to tell me how bad city living is and how unfriendly city people are. I have met plenty of unfriendly people in rural areas too. If you look hard enough, you can find whatever you want in people pretty much anywhere. I’m not scared of moving to a city. I am ready for a new chapter in my life. And I feel I have gone as far as I can go living in a rural area.