Friday, February 5, 2010

Home.

Currently Mr. Perfect and I live in the city I consider my "home". But actually, I was raised about one hour north of here in a very small town that I loved. My parents packed up the Marine and I and headed to the 'Ham when I was in the 5th grade. Reason being, public schools in my town suck, and private school seemed like a waste when there was a completely awesome school system one county over.

So we moved. Out to the boondocks. Literally.

We built my parents dream home on 7 acres an hour north of Coastal Town, GA. Our nearest neighbor lived 1/2 mile away. The nearest grocery store was 7 miles away and the nearest Wal*Mart was a good 30 minutes away. The town was so small and so spread out that you said you were from the county name, not the individual town you were from because no one had ever heard of those. Say you were from the 'Ham and everyone knew where you were from. And made an opinion about you, but that's neither here nor there.

Our schools were amazing. My friends were awesome. We all lived so spread out that you couldn't really hang out at each others' houses until we were all old enough to drive. Fortunately, I found an amazing group of friends in the 5th and 6th grades that I stuck with til I graduated. Our parents were friends and usually could be coerced to spend Saturdays together so we could all hang out. My best friend lived a few miles away and could ride her horse (yep, seriously) to our house to play, or I could ride my bike to hers (I was an ambitious child). The crime rate was non-existent. I stayed out of trouble. I made incredible grades. I was involved in everything and loved it. Like I said, I made a ridiculously close group of friends and we stuck together through everything. I dated the same guy all through high school, had the same love interest 6th grade through college (not the boyfriend, quite the story), never changed friends, didn't drink, and swore I'd be best friends with these people til I died. And most certainly our children would all be bff's as we were all coming back to the 'Ham to raise our families.

But then things changed. I hit 18 and decided I had no idea who I was. I felt like I'd been defined by that group of people, my boyfriend at the time, and even my grades and extra-curricular activities. I decided that I needed to find out who I was, and there was no way I could do it surrounded by the same people. So while they all went off to the same state school, I packed up and moved to a small, private college on my quest for self discovery.

Needless to say, I spend every weekend at State School with the gang. I missed them. I broke up with the boyfriend, but the rest of them (including love interest) I couldn't stay away from. They were my past. They truly did help to define me. That little county I grew up in that I at times loathed for how far out and small it was, became the place I loved running home to. I couldn't wait to graduate and go back.

Then things happened. Not good things, and things that forever changed me and the way I saw the world. My eyes were opened to quite a few things in college, and I started to resent going back to the 'Ham because every time I went back, everyone saw the old me. And I was so not that girl anymore. I was quite the jaded college kid and "Mayberry" didn't quite do it for me anymore. It got harder and harder to go home at the holidays and hang out with the old crew. They still seemed so young to me and I started to resent them for not being able to figure out that the world wasn't quite as perfect as they seemed to think it was. I felt like they let me down for not opening their eyes to some of the bad things around us. Ridiculous I know, but I wanted everyone to see things how I saw them at that time.

Then the parentals sold our childhood home and moved up North. There was no longer any reason to head back out to the country. My visits got less and less frequent. Phone calls to former friends dwindled. E-mails got shorter and shorter.

Life started changing for all of us and eventually we made our own new groups. The majority of my old "crew" is still best friends. But I forged my own road. It's fun to run into them and wax poetic about the old days, but truthfully, that place is no longer "home".

One thing that I still hold dear, even though I never want to move back, is my childhood I had out in the 'Ham. The amazing friendships, the good times I always had, my awesome school, and so much more still make me smile and remember the good things about the 'Ham. My "home" now is with Mr. Perfect and wherever we decide to settle, but I do want one thing wherever we end up. I want my daughter to grow up like I did. I want her to have a group of friends that you know everything about and that you do everything with. I want her to have a home she sees as her refuge when things around her get a little too tough. I want her to remember her high school days and smile, like her mother does now. It doesn't matter if we raise her here in Coastal Town, GA or somewhere we haven't even been yet. I just want her to find her home..

7 comments:

Miss Jody said...

aw...
this is precious :)

have a great weekend!!!

only 64 more days to go! eekk!

Fidgeting Gidget said...

Great post...I love insightful thoughts in blog form. :)

Home is where you make it, and I grew up in a situation that sounds a lot like yours. I have no desire to go back there to live, but it holds a special place in my heart and everything that happened there has a hand in who I am today and I hope that I (and you, of course) can make where we live into a perfect "hometown" for our kids. :)

:)

Emma-leigh said...

Very well said, in deed. Great post girlie.

...::Mrs. Southern Bride::... said...

Good post!! I was raised in a community like that...I hated being half an hour from wal-mart...the next best thing was the dollar store. ;-)

The Pink Cheeseburger said...

Aww girl you are such a wonderful writer. Thank you so much for sharing a part of your past with us. You are lucky to have had what sounds like a magical childhood, and I'm so sorry to hear it sounds like you went through a bit of a hard time. Change is ROUGH, you and I know that both.

But I know that you know how blessed you are, and you and Mr. Perfect are going to be able to provide an absolutely amazing life for your baby girl! I can't wait to hear all about it-have an awesome weekend!

Kristin said...

My high school pals and I are scattered all over the country now, but every once and a while we all converge in Tampa for the holidays and get together. It's a blast!

Lindsey said...

Such a precious post, loved it!

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