I grew up in Toronto, Canada. I was raised in the downtown area and for the first 11 years of my life, I was very happy. When I got to my teenage years, however, I had trouble going to sleep at night, and worse trouble waking up in the morning. I dropped out of high school at age 14, and I couldn’t handle the stress of big city life. Especially, the big school.
I had severe mental depression which lasted until about age 19.
Later on, after I moved to Minnesota I really suffered a lot of culture shock. I made the stupid mistake of marrying too young. The decision was largely based on wanting to get out of the big city, and away from home.
At the time, little did I know, I was jumping from the frying pan into the fire!
I never knew there were so many petty minds that would sabotage all my dreams.
Because I lacked clarity, a cheer team, a solid financial foundation, and practical wisdom, I failed on many counts.
Needless to say, the depression returned, in spades. I was led to becoming self-destructive. I was doing crazy things, in a foolish cry for attention!
When I look back at the choices I made, I observe the roller coaster pattern of my life and I could not have it any other way. It all had to do with both my genetics and my environment.
I encountered good and evil people in my life. The good people were not all good and the bad people were not all bad.
Living here today in small-town America, I rejoice.
I reflect on those city days, the overstimulation, the envy, the greed, the sadness, and my mind’s obsession with the self.
I cannot say I am entirely free of stress, but living out here has lessened my stress immensely.
When I’m out in the country, looking at the vast acreage with admiration and awe, I feel very much like a cowgirl on the range.
There is something so satisfying in spacious places. Something that cannot be found in the cement blocks of the downtown area where I grew up.
As the song goes,
“Give me land, lots of land, under Starry skies above, Don’t Fence Me In.”