My Brother and I are very different people.
This week, I read an article in The Atlantic about a similar brother and sister pair. The brother slips the chains of his small-town upbringing to seek experiences, culture and fortune in the big city. His sister stays behind, becomes a teacher, raises a family and never longs for anything beyond the bounds of her front door. And he thinks she is the poorer of the two, until he returns home and realizes that some things are more important than ambition.
From the time I was in pre-school, I saw my path through life very clearly, and that path led out of the mining town where we grew up. My Brother never seemed to feel the claustrophobic strangle-hold of small town life, and instead saw our hometown as the gateway to a wilderness that he cherished.
I saw the forest. He saw the trees. And I was desperate to get out of the sticks.
High rise apartments, Chinese food delivery, a job in politics, cocktails with the girls at a fancy bar and a closet full of gorgeous clothes is essentially what I saw in my elementary/high school/college dreams. But you know what I do in my free time, at 1:00 AM on Saturday when the buzz from the $12 cocktails is wearing off?
I search the Montana realty listing for a small house in the mountains with lots of land. Water-frontage preferred,but optional.
So when my Brother posts photos of his travails in the great Big Sky, I get a little jealous. Not because I wish to be riding a snowmobile through 6’of white snowy powder in the middle of April, but because he appreciated what I failed to see: There really is no place like home.