Am I Still Rural?

If this is where I’m from….

And this is where I live now…

Am I still rural?

It’s this question that started this whole project. Spoiler alert – I don’t know the answer. What I do know is that I’m constantly grappling with it. I am uncertain how to define myself. I feel more rural than not, but then I feel not as rural as others. And, like, what does that even mean? What does it meant to be “rural“?

I suppose “rural out-migrant” is closest to what and who I am, but I still feel uncomfortable identifying that way since it feels like I’m swearing an allegiance to a cityscape that I have no claim to. Furthermore, my identity as a reader, writer, teacher, and teacher educator feels tangled up in this whole mess. Being in-between is difficult, and having a space to process that felt necessary for me. So, I’ve created this space for me (and hopefully eventually for others) to process place-connected identity.

In the posts that follow, I’ll be doing a lot of thinking through pictures, paragraphs, and poems in an attempt to know a little bit more about the knot that has become my identity, which I’m hoping will be helpful for us both. Every time I present on this topic at academic conferences or even strike up conversations with colleagues, friends, and strangers, folks seem to start talking about their own experiences connected to place. It’s incredible to engage with one another around identity, so I hope this becomes a supportive space for that too.

Not everyone gets a chance to tell their story, but everybody’s got a story worth tellin’. And some stories are more well-represented out there than others. Wherever you are on the place-connected identity spectrum, I’d love to hear yours. If you’d like to contribute to the blog, use the contact form below.

I hope I’ll be hearin’ from you. If you choose to visit again (and I hope you will), you’ll definitely be hearin’ from me.

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