i’ve spent twenty-three years living in the south…in fact, one can argue that i’ve been moving “further south” over the last six years–from north carolina to south carolina to alabama (the deeeep south). i wrestle with the idea of “home” and where i will end up. there’s a huge part of my heart that wants to live in a high rise in a huge city, with the hustle and bustle of life in the northeast, riding public transit, lugging my groceries up fifteen flights of stairs–the whole experience. there’s the other part of me that wants to live in the middle of nowhere, with lots of land and animals and a big house with exposed wood beams. and there’s the rest of me…that really doesn’t know what i want.
i’ve decided that home is whatever, and wherever, you make it. for eighteen years, home–for better or for worse–was western north carolina. smack dab in the middle of nowhere, with little to do besides hang out at the walmart. and i was satisfied living here–where everyone knows everyone, and their business–until i went to columbia. i fell in love with columbia, but when college ended, i realized that columbia, for me, was the people–not necessarily the place. now birmingham is home for me–i love the city, my church, my friends and my birmingham family. one day, i’ll graduate, and maybe i’ll move somewhere else. maybe i’ll be surrounded by different people. maybe i’ll live across the world or in a completely different part of the country…or maybe just down the street.
i guess what i’m realizing is that home is where the heart is, and that sometimes it can change…that we aren’t always destined or fated or sent by God to one certain place for all the years of our lives, but that we change, and grow, and explore. we meet new people who become friends, and friends who become family. we fall in love with places and cities and the boonies. sometimes we have to leave all these things behind for something new…and the process, the pain–it’s what makes us stronger and who we are.
so for now, let me say that while i don’t live in columbia, and while columbia isn’t home…i’m so looking forward to seeing her for a few days. to beezers. to time with dear friends. to sleeping on misti bailey’s floor and some amazing girl time as we compare the awkwardness and weirdness of our lives. to walking up and down the weathered bricks of the horseshoe and seeing my old home and familiar faces…and then, it’s off to my new home and birmingham–a place that i’ve grown to love more than i would have ever imagined.
dark and silent late last night
i think i might have heard the highway callin’
i’m goin’ to Carolina in my mind.