The Tragedy of Growing Up in an Urban Environment

rural life

If you’re like me, you grew up in an urban environment, which means your view of the world tends to be different from that of someone who grew up in a rural environment or even the suburbs. One of the significant differences? I’m talking about economic issues here. Where I come from (and where most of you reading this will likely be coming from), there’s this assumption that money = success and that making money = being happy in life.

Urban living

Life in the city is fast-paced and stressful.

City living means living a life that is fast-paced and stressful. You are always on the go and constantly feel like there are not enough hours in a day to do what you need to get done. If you have kids, your days will be full of activities, school drop-offs, and pick-ups. The constant busyness can make city life difficult if you don’t have much money or the time to pursue hobbies outside of work.

People surround you, but you’re still lonely.

Growing up in the city, you’re surrounded by people, but you’re still lonely. I had a few friends and my family, but it wasn’t enough to keep me from feeling alone. I remember feeling like I was missing out on something when visiting my friends in the country because they would always be outside working with their hands or planting on their land. When you live a rural lifestyle, there is so much more fresh air and natural beauty around you that everything seems more rewarding of a life worth living.  You can even know where your food comes from, the soil used to grow it, etc.

You’re always chasing after something.

Growing up in a rural environment, you’ll probably never have to worry about what the Joneses are doing. You will always know who your friends and family are and be able to spend time with them. As you grow older, you will learn that it is essential to be self-sufficient, which is one reason why living in a rural environment may be ideal for you. Rural living teaches you how to live a simple life with less materialistic things—like things prepackaged and storebought.

There’s a lot of competition.

It’s a difficult time for young people looking to get ahead. The competition is fierce, and there are so many factors that have to come together to make you successful. It’s hard to know where to start with all the complications of modern life. An excellent way for someone just starting out is rural living. There’s less competition, and it can feel like you’re able to build something more sustainable than what you would find in the city or suburbs.  As you become older, competition will seem not at all what it is cracked up to be. You’ll realize that money isn’t everything. Rural living may not make you rich, but it could give your life meaning again when it slows down. Have you ever wanted to live off the land? Rural living might help you do just that!

You never really get to know anyone.

Growing up in a small town, you can see people every day, and you get to know them, but living in the city, there are so many people, and they’re always on the go. You never really have time to speak to anyone or get to know them. Everyone’s just passing through like a blur.  In the city, it seems always to come down to trust.  With so many people around, it is so hard to trust many people because of the high crime rates vs. suburbia or rural living.

Everyone’s a stranger.

Growing up in a city, you’re constantly surrounded by people. There’s always traffic, construction, and strangers walking past you on the street. It’s hard to find a quiet place to think or even relax. The noise from cars and people is so great that it feels like there’s no escape from it all. But then, one day, you wake up and realize that the city is just too much for you anymore—you need more space and greenery. You might wonder why you haven’t looked for more space, freedom, and nature when you were younger.

You’re constantly comparing yourself to others.

Living with the knowledge that you’ll never be as successful as your friends and family can be challenging. It’s even worse when they’re not even successful themselves. But there is hope. It may not seem like it, but there is hope! You have to be willing to work for what you want and not just wait for it to come knocking at your door. You can change your fate if you want it bad enough. So what are you waiting for? Take a chance on yourself, go after your dreams, and don’t settle for less than you deserve. You owe it to yourself!  Start while you have the energy.

You’re never really satisfied.

I had never been satisfied with where I was or what I had. I always wanted more; no matter how much I had, it was never enough. This led me to stay in the workforce for long periods of time, even though I had a fulfilling life outside of work. Working hard has been my way of living up to my own expectations, but I never felt like I was achieving anything significant.

After having children, my perspective changed: It became vital for me to do what I liked without the prerequisite of making a lot of money. Indeed, spending so much time away from home can take its toll on a family dynamic because you aren’t there for each other when you need each other most.  Social and familial concerns can take second place behind making money.

You’re always searching for something more.

Growing up, I always felt like something was missing. Maybe it’s because I’ve been told since childhood that there’s more out there for me and that I’m just not seeing it. In my search for more, I’ve seen all sorts of things: drugs, financial struggles, violence, abuse, and neglect around me.  I guess you can say you can find this outside of an urban environment, but is it so concentrated elsewhere? Is this something that should be a part of life? Will living in a less dense, rural environment make me happy when I am older?

You never really get to slow down and enjoy life.

It’s not that people don’t have time for their loved ones. It’s just that it’s hard to make yourself take the time when you know there are dishes to be done, laundry to be folded, floors to be vacuumed, and a million other things clamoring for your attention and your employment. The thing is that if you’re living in the city, you don’t have time for anything. You never really get to slow down and enjoy life. Your mind is constantly racing with thoughts like: What did I forget? Who do I need to call? When am I going to finish this project? Is there something else important I’m forgetting right now?

Is rural or suburban life for you?

If you want to enjoy life, you might consider moving out of the city. Life outside the city is usually less stressful and healthier than in urban environments, and it’s easier to be self-sufficient when you’re living outside a city. You might think that rural life is for people who can’t afford anything better or for people who are too old to work anymore, but that’s not true at all. Rural life is just as good as any other lifestyle choice if you’re thinking about where to live and where to retire.-MM

Michele Mitchell Blog Writer for Ubuntu Village

Hi, I am Michele Mitchell, also known as Neftalia2017. I am the President and Founder of Ubuntu Village and the author of this blog post. I have been writing for ten years as a pastime.

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