Dearly conflicted

Medium is full of stories that go like this:

I got out of the city last weekend and for two days felt like I was free. Convinced I would feel the urge to check in with the Internet occasionally, I was surprised when I didn’t, and surprised when it felt good not to. The people I was staying with were genuine and I felt like I made a true connection in the short time I stayed. It was nice to not be in such a rush for a bit.

And is it a surprise? Life in cities is a permanent assault to the senses, and deep connection is hard to come by in the wake of all our hurry. So by the time these stories are told, pecked into life on a laptop keyboard over the morning’s second cup of coffee or rattled off late at night before sleep, there is a tragic, unwritten ending. It might read something like:

But even though I felt alive in a way I never had, even though I wished I could stay, I went back to the hectic, impersonal city and stifled my longing.

I’ve had these weekends. All of us who live in cities have. And I sense that we often feel a strange guilt for looking the other way when the natural longing for simpler living strikes us. I certainly do.

Why do we ignore the tug toward quiet? Is it a fear of loneliness? Of being removed from popular culture? Of the illusion that youth mandates city life? I wish this conflict was more easily resolved.