I always thought I’d move away, out of Mississippi. When I was younger, I would tell my parents I was going to grow up and live in California.
I’ve lived in Liberty for seven years now. It took me about three years to begin to accept this as my home. It was a decision I had to make, and it took me a bit to get there. I distinctly remember driving home from getting Nora one day, trying to sort through my feelings. I was tired of feeling out of place, tired of not having my family near me, tired of not knowing how to get places, tired of the snow, tired of wondering if I was having a hard time with friends because I grew up differently or because I’m a grown up and things are different now. I was unhappy. And I remember at that moment feeling certain that it was time to stop being unhappy. That if I ever wanted to create any forward movement in my life, I was going to have to accept that this is where He has me. I was going to learn to fall in love with my new home.
Over the past four years, we’ve moved to an area of Liberty that I genuinely love. I can walk to get dinner, coffee, ice cream. There are several women who live near me that are becoming like family. Our store is a five minute walk from my house. These are things I hoped for when I was little. When we moved into this house I felt like God was saying “See, I knew you could be happy here”. I had to let go of myself enough to get there.
I see my family about 6 times a year. There are so many emotions wrapped into seeing them. I have a lot of guilt associated with stopping our lives here to visit with them, and I feel a lot of guilt when I leave there to come back. I can never leave my life here with things in the order I need them to be to go, no matter how hard I try, and when I leave to come back, I feel like I’m depriving my family of the relationships they could have if we all lived near each other. I’m starting to recognize these things as out of my control, and so there’s no point in worrying about them. They are just distractions from the bigger picture because there’s nothing I can do about either.
One thing I feel strongly about is being present. Being present means making sacrifices. There’s a cost-benefit relationship, for sure. And these days, with distractions knocking at our door every minute, it’s a discipline. We just came back from our recent trip to Mississippi, and it was filled with so many moments. I was able to see my lifetime best friend, Rachel. Nora and I had a girls’ shopping day. We spent quality time with my family, and so many memories were made.
My childhood is in Mississippi, but I am growing up in Missouri.