My CEO has nicknamed me “Country”. It could have been the big belt buckle I wore one time (thanks, Jenny), or my not-so-quiet love of big trucks and men who do manly things. It could have been my request to wear overalls on Fridays, too…
And I kept thinking, “What does it really mean to be country?”
I grew up in Fremont–not quite on a farm, not quite in the city. I ate mud as a kid, had pet toads, played with bugs, shot guns, tried beer for the first time at a relatively young age, and have an odd love for 4-wheelers. But is that what makes you country? Maybe it’s because I climb a lot of trees. If you ask me (which you all inadvertently did when you started reading my blog), being country means a few things. Let’s just skip right past the deer-shootin’, beer-drinkin’ stereotypes and get into what it really means to be country.
It means being capable. The real country is a rough place, and if you don’t know what to do to survive, if you’re incapable of thinking on your feet and doing whatever it takes to make it to the next day, you’re going to die.
It means developing compassion, but not to a fault. Decisions must be made in the country. Think of it this way–do you swerve to avoid a squirrel but end up putting your truck in a ditch and causing damage? Or do you hit the squirrel and get on with your life (and maybe scoop it up for some squirrel stew)?
It means making decisions and not lingering on things that you cannot change. “Woops, hit a squirrel, now where’s my chainsaw? Granny’s waitin’ for me to cut down her tree.”
It means not being too sensitive. It was just a squirrel–geez.
It means appreciating the simple things in life, like having enough food to keep the family fed or a beautiful sunset.
It means knowing that you are but a small spec in the scheme of things.
It’s independence and knowing you can rely on your family and your neighbors.
It means trying it by yourself, and being able to ask for help if you need it.
And it means knowing how to sit back and watch the world go by for a bit.
If that’s what my CEO meant, I’ll take it. But I have a feeling he thinks I chew tobacco and shoot guns on the weekends. I’ll shoot guns, but I’ll take my tobacco in the form of a cigarette. 🙂