This is not the usual/wannabecool/”adventurous travel” post that I tend throw on here. However, it’s probably just as pretentious and annoying, so let’s just go with it…
I now live in a small town.
Thinking back on what I had previously considered a small vs big town, it was always very idealized: “San Francisco” “Madrid” “Paris” “Barcelona””Somewhere Foreign” “Blah Blah Blah” “Capitalized Letters” “People Will Think It Is Cool?”
So Phoenix is an enormous town…it is a huge city….it is so much more than I understood it to be growing up. And I lost something for a long time not understanding its enormity. However, recently, the destructive element and enormity of Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun has become so blatantly obvious and (for me) overwhelmingly stifling that I cannot, and am not, living there anymore. I always knew my childhood home was a “big city,” but the implications of a place so hot that when your seatbelt scalds you, you just shrug and walk across your plush green lawn to your choline pool to sooth the burn, and of cours someone’s parents thereafter make sure you enjoy some ice water inside your some conditioned home…
and here we go…as much as that memory will always make me happy, it simply cannot exist anymore.
Okay, the rant is (mostly) over, because I do want to share the praises for our delightful little town. I now live in northern Arizona in a town of less than 40,000. Water is always an issue, and it will be increasingly so in the coming years. But beyond that, small towns like where I live now will be a commodity in the future. With more people, less land, harsher environemnts, and the lack of options to deny changes in local climates, little towns like mine will be flooded with new people….oh I forgot! I wasn’t going to rant anymore!! Shucks, I lied….
What a dilemma! I left a massive sprawling metropolis–which will have no place to exist as it does in the coming years– for the quality of a small, mild-mannered town…yet it is on the precipice of an exodus from such climate disaster areas just to the south, and many of whom we will personally know.
I struggle between extremes: pessimism and hope. Tell me, how do you feel?