We weren’t planning this trip a week ago or even until two days beforehand, but here we are traveling up for a baptism of a childhood friend over a weekend and it was indeed a quick trip to Kentucky. Six hours there and six hours back so we could only be there for a few hours, but it was what I needed. I felt inspired by this beautiful essay about roots and wings and here are my thoughts.
Growing up in Kentucky, I wanted to see more and do more. I wanted to experience diversity. I wanted an acknowledgement that people had thought I had done something with my life and I wanted to feel important. Although, I have a life now that would have validated my need for acknowledgement, I don’t really care to have it anymore.
Driving through these curvy rural roads and seeing where I grew up with all of the memories attached to it, I realized I have very different dreams now. I thought of our children someday and the hopes I have for them and I thought about the attributes I will have to covey.
I hope our children can juggle the love of wherever we live while being able to appreciate the simplicity and beauty of a corn field. I hope they don’t mistake small town for simple minded and that they can recognize that holding a degree isn’t the only type of intelligence a person can have. I hope we can teach them to love every place to pieces by seeing it for what it is: a place that holds people’s hearts, dreams, future and past.
The older I become the more I am coming to grips that each chapter of my life has been lived in different places. My childhood in Kentucky, my burgeoning adulthood and newlywed years in Utah, and the “first job/ first house/ poor from my grad school” phase that we’ve been living here in Georgia the past few years. It can be easy for me to go back and remember or think so fondly of these chapters that I forget what is front of me entirely.
I can get lost in my head about theoretical situations where I have a re-do on choices over and over again with a different outcome (Walter Mitty brain, anyone?), but in reality there is usually a sink full of dishes and clothing to be folded in between hundred page homework readings to bring me back to earth.
There are things in the here and now that are beautiful and that I know I will miss in the future. Sometimes when I am sitting my grad school classroom I think to myself: “this is a day I’ll think back on someday and it will be missed.”
The truth is, I’m not the same girl that left Kentucky at 18 and moved cross country. I’m not the same newlywed that left Utah and moved cross country to Georgia with my husband, but all of these parts make a whole that is me. I’ve learned that it isn’t doing important things or being important places that makes us matter, but making others feel important and I can do that anywhere God puts us.
I’m glad to be here.