It’s no secret I moved around a lot when I was younger. But to my memory there was no sweeter a time than growing up and being a teenager in New Braunfels. From early morning taco runs before school to late afternoon floats on the river after school, I have many fun memories. Even though my family ended up moving to Kansas around college age, I always said that when it was time to settle down with my own family I would come back to New Braunfels. As with many things, I meant what I said and I said what I meant.
My family loves New Braunfels and for the most part doing business here has introduced me to some truly amazing people. However, lately I’ve had an overwhelming sense of disillusionment. And not the type of post-college “I’ve seen the world and am no longer impressed with my small town” sense of disillusionment that is fairly common. Quite the opposite in fact. It’s more like, “I’ve seen behind the curtain and am no longer impressed with my small town.”
Of all the places in the world I chose to lay roots here in New Braunfels, and yet from Memorial Day to Labor Day every year I feel like a second class citizen in my own town. Small town events that used to be near and dear to my heart are now so heavily marketed to out of towners they’re barely recognizable. It all seems to be for the profit of a few major individuals and organizations, who don’t want to slow down any time soon. It’s enough to break a local girl’s heart.
Do I think I could pack up my bags and move somewhere without all the noise? No. I think every town large or small has a greedy underbelly and growing pains. All I can do is choose not to be a part of it, support where it feels right to support, and make sure my family safely has as much fun as they can while we are here. At the very least, my kiddos will look back and have the same fun [noiseless] memories I had.
Have you experienced a similar type of disillusionment? How did you cope?