People are funny. And sometimes after meeting a strange couple–who seemed perfectly suited for each other–my dad would whisper to me: “For every Jack there is a Jill”. I’ve thought about that saying a lot over the years, and not just in relationship terms. I think it applies to where we live as well.
About 6 years ago, I was on my way to what would become my new home – a little wintery town on the edge of the Uinta forest with what appeared to be more cows than people and only a handful of stores. I had left my family behind (they would be joining me a couple months later) and was feeling a little emotional about the whole thing. I was supposed to meet someone on my way in to town and so I pulled off the road and parked next to their place of work.
In my mind, I was thinking that this was my first chance to meet people from the area and see what they were like. I was hoping that maybe my worry would be lifted if I could meet some nice person and feel welcomed. I went inside and was greeted by an older man who stopped me from going any further.
“Hello,” I said.
“What do you need?”
I explained who I was looking for and how I had just driven here from Denver and would be moving my family in soon.
“Why the hell would anyone want to live in Denver?”
And that was my introduction to small town life. He may have been blunt, but he wasn’t unique by any means in his feelings about the big city. I soon learned that a majority of the small town grumbled and even feared Park City (which was just 20 minutes over the hill). Later, when I got a job in Park City, I soon learned that they had similar feelings about Kamas (the town I had just moved into)–they were just more adroit in their political correctness.
Fast forward to a few months ago, when we started telling people that we were moving away from Kamas to the larger city of St George. I can’t tell you how many people warned me about the heat and the traffic and the crime, and many other things that were perceived differences from where they lived. I was at first bothered by this and felt defensive about our decision, until I realized, “For every Jack there is a Jill.” Most of these people liked the colder weather and country lifestyle where they were at. (That is why they lived there). I rightly anticipated that when I moved to St George I would hear a lot of praise for the area from the people who lived there declaring their love for the climate, the scenery, the stores, and the lifestyle.
I decided that there is no perfect place for everyone. That people are different and have different tastes–and that is a good thing. Otherwise we would all live in the same place. There are beach people and mountain people, country folk and city slickers. If you don’t like where you are at, somewhere there is a place that is a perfect fit for you. Sometimes I drive through a town and think, “I could never live here.” But to that guy over there, relaxing on his porch, it is heaven on earth.