Wednesday, March 9, 2016

How Living in a Rural Community Has Made Me More Creative

When I was 2 years old my parents moved our family from Central Pennsylvania to Northern Minnesota. Like just-across-the-river-from-Canada Northern Minnesota. And if you know anything about the area, it's fairly rural and removed from "the rest of the world." Think 1 1/2 - 2 hour drive to the nearest mall.
While this area is all that I ever remember calling home (and I really do love it here!), I have occasional longings of leaving it to experience life in a place with more economic prosperity and options. I mean, how could you not wish to live in an area that has a coffee shop a couple minutes in every direction? I may never know what that's like.

But one thing that I have learned from living in a rural community, that I think I would've missed out on otherwise, is to be creative even in the simple things. I can't go on a quick run to Target and sip on my favorite Starbucks latte as I do my shopping. Because of this I've learned to plan ahead and make myself a to-go cup at home instead. I have fun learning how to create my own lattes just the way I like them, and it's also a lot less expensive.

So, we don't have Target, but we also don't even have Walmart. Remember Big Kmart? Yep, that's what we have. That and 3 dollar stores... *face palm*  Trying to decorate a house requires a lot more forethought and creativity when your options are limited. I scan the local thrift stores for items I can repurpose or else try to make something myself. And when I do get to go shopping out of town at all my favorite stores, I feel (and probably look) like a kid at Christmas.

But ultimately, I say all this to remind each of us that life is what we make of it. I know there are unhappy people in the most prosperous of places and there are happy people living in far worse places than I described above. It's a daily choice for each of us to be happy where we are, whether in life or geographically, and find the good that is around us. And most importantly, I'm here and you're there for a reason.

What about you, how does where you live positively affect you?
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