Living in the city for me is rather chaotic. The rumbling sound of traffic, and the loud stamp of many feet makes me anxious. In the city you’re just a small person. The city doesn’t care for you like the country does.
A couple years ago as I was moving out of my first apartment, I fell down two steps and broke my ankle (I’m super clumsy and my family has not let me live it down). While my dad ran to the truck with a loveseat on his back, I lay flat on the ground, panicking because I heard my ankle snap when I fell. It didn’t really hurt, but that might have been because I was in shock. Honestly, I was more freaked out from the sound than anything else. But while I was lying on the sidewalk waiting for my dad to come back, a couple came walking down the stairs, they made full eye contact with me, and stepped over me. Not to talk trash about people in the city because I know not all people are that rude, but if I had been in the country, they would have helped me. If I had been in the country, I most likely would have known them. Fortunately, my dad came back and helped me up the stairs (and moved out the rest of my stuff by himself, what a champ).
My point is, the city doesn't care about little old me. Some people find this cathartic, they can do what they want because the city doesn’t care what they do. I find it rather lonely. The city doesn’t care about you, it won’t love you, it won’t look after you, it won’t fold you into a safe place and keep you warm; the country for me does that.
But there are some great things about the city that the country doesn’t have. For instance, if you need milk at 9pm on a weekday you’ll be able to get it because not everything will be closed at around 5. In the city it’s easier to find similar people to you. Whether it’s finding people of the same religion, sexual orientation, race, culture, or maybe just someone who likes the same weird TV show as you, it’s always easier to find “your” people in the city than the country.
I’m beginning to think the city isn’t all bad, and certainly the people are nicer. For me the city is easier to bear when I know I have a quiet place to go to and recharge, in the city and out.
Madeleine Lange-Chenier is a small-town girl who much prefers the feel of grass beneath her feet than concrete city streets. She likes to read (mostly fiction), write (just about anything), and tell her pets how cute they are (approximately 1,000 times a day). She makes really good guacamole and really bad cheese scones.