small town girl or sweet city woman?

I was born and raised in a small town in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia and had a fantastic childhood. By the time I reached high school I was tired of small town living, and I headed to the City of Halifax. I was happy to fade into the crowd and be anonymous. I loved that I could walk down the street and never run into anyone I knew. I loved going for lattes or martinis downtown with friends. I loved the noise, and traffic and excitement. Mostly I loved that it was so different from my childhood. I had a wonderful childhood, but I craved excitement and diversity and new experiences and Halifax offered all of those options. For the next 11 years I lived, worked and went to school in Halifax. I always thought it would be my forever home, and I loved every single minute of living in the city.

One summer, just a couple years after I moved to Halifax from the valley, I spent an evening with an old high school friend back home in the valley. That night we drove all over the valley in his big old truck, listening to old music on the am radio, and talking about our new adult lives. We were sharing stories about our hopes and dreams for the future and he summed things up by saying “Well I’m a small town valley boy and you’re a sweet city woman”. I loved that he viewed me as a “sweet city woman”, and I guess compared to my country living roots I was now a city girl.

Many years later, my life changed drastically when my husband and I made the decision to move to a small town in rural Manitoba. Although I knew it was a great opportunity for us to explore our country and experience new opportunities, I felt like part of me was going through a break-up with my city lifestyle. How could I give up all that city living has to offer? I dreaded leaving my downtown job, the easy access to good shopping, diverse restaurants, and the general excitement city living offers. After the move was all said and done, I settled in nicely in our new country living, but I did miss city living. I longed for city excitement. Every year when I went home to Nova Scotia for vacation I would spend a day to myself in downtown Halifax, just walking around, enjoying the city, remembering the days when I was a “sweet city woman“, and part of me would always wish I could return to my old city girl lifestyle permanently.

During this year’s vacation in Nova Scotia something changed. I still loved Halifax, I still enjoyed my time there, but I found myself not wishing for my old city girl lifestyle permanently. The traffic drove me nuts, the noise was more noticeable, it was almost like I was in city overload. I was confused - do I identify more with being a small town girl or a sweet city woman? I guess I am now a bit of both.  I have recaptured part of my small town girl history and learned to appreciate all small town living has to offer, but at the same time I still enjoy city opportunities, just without all the noise and traffic and chaos. I have decided the best place for me long term is now a small town near a city so I can have the best of both worlds.

What is your preference - small town or city? Why?