A conversation tonight led me to realize how much I have grown up in the past four years. I talk about my Southern Roots a lot and growing up in the country. But I didn’t always like it, and honestly it probably wasn’t even something I was proud of.
The country to me meant you didn’t have a lot. It was a lot of slow talking, slow moving people. It was probably from either my sophomore year or junior year in high school I remember talking about my Dallas friends and how I couldn’t wait to get to Dallas. My friends hated it when I’d talk about getting away. I never put a second thought into leaving Orangefield. And I don’t have any regret leaving Orangefield. My only regret or really not even regret, but guilt is that I began to run away from my roots as soon as I hit the city. I wanted nothing to do with anything that resembled “country.”
The older I’ve gotten and more recently within the last year, I’ve stepped back and evaluated what it means to be “country.” In the country we use words like “I reckon”, “ain’t”, “fix-in to”, and “feeder road.” In the country we love fried food and beer. A back porch swing and midnight stars is the best way to end a night. And dogs barking in the dead of night at a train rolling by is nothing out of the ordinary.
This post isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Before hand the thoughts were pouring out of my head and now it’s long pauses.
Why is it that we try running from who we really are instead of embracing it. We think we aren’t good enough or I’ll be better off. Yes, people come from a screwed up life sometimes, and maybe they had a rough home life. But your past makes you who you are. You just have to choose how you react to it. Nothing negative ever has to define you, but it can shape you into something better. My past wasn’t bad, I was blessed in that regards. But to me it wasn’t good enough. I thought the city would be able to give me so much more. And while I met some amazing people in the city. I’d have to say my two favorite are actually from the country. It’s amazing how God works sometimes. Makes me laugh thinking about. He kept my roots intact from the moment I entered the city. If it wasn’t for them I think I would have kept running. I was forced to listen to country music. I HATED it! But it’s growing on me now. Cowboy boots, seriously? I remember someone owning a pink pair and the other buying a red pair. I didn’t understand. Cavendars was the place you went to if you had a rodeo to go to.
It’s taken me 4 years to realize how all of that has played a part into shaping me into who I am. On a night like tonight when the wind is whipping through the trees and the gentle breeze of summer rolls in, I’m brought back to my front porch on an old gravel road. The silence of the city, which isn’t silent, leaves me missing the still of the country pasture. My southern roots are slowly brought to the surface each morning I wake up. Though I’ve grown and taken on city characteristics, my heart and soul will forever be in the country.
I don’t know if I’ll stay in the city forever. I think I’d like to settle down and raise my kids in a small town. I want them to understand and enjoy a simple life. One that isn’t always pulling you in every direction, but allows you to enjoy the beauty around you and to look up and see a sky full of stars; definitely one of the things I miss the most. I want them to learn to fish and hunt. They need to go camping and learn to work for their food. I miss those things. I miss a lot about the country. Going on 5 years now and I am just now realizing this.
I’m learning to embrace me. The me that I genuinely am. A little city mixed with a lot of country. I reckon I’ll be gettin’ a long just fine.