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Don't move. Stay in your small town. Narrow the scope of your dreams, dial down your ambition to something more reasonable. Jettison idealistic principles, come to terms with self-imposed limits on your potential using elaborate rationalizations. Opt-out of the status game by creating a new I-don't-need-status game. Struggle to find opportunity in a stagnant or declining economy. Struggle to find a compatible partner in a significantly smaller dating pool. Earn less. Pay less for lower quality food from chain restaurants. Pay less for housing with limited access to natural or cultural wonders of any kind. Explore and experience less. Settle. Compromise.

Make some friends. Go to your friends' funerals when they die from opioid overdoses. Make some new friends. Go to the local bar with them, listen to the same songs. Every weekend.

Your parents die anyway.

It's the American dream.

(I don't think either of these depictions are helpful or accurate).

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