Something you may not know about me is I live in a small town. Actually, it is the same small town I have lived in my whole life.
When I was in high school, I had dreams of going to a university in New York City to study journalism. Then, I was going to get a job writing for Rolling Stone where I would interview Paul McCartney for a cover story. (Before you ask, no I haven't seen the movie "Almost Famous.")
That was the dream of a 17 year old. It was a dream that really didn't happen. I got close to it when I did the entertainment magazine for a newspaper. I interviewed some really cool people, but it was short lived because, well, we know what is happening to newspapers in this day and age.
I went to a small school with an amazing Communications program. I made the best friends that anyone could ever ask for. I never regretted my decision to not go off to a big school in a big city.
That brings me to my point. It's okay to bloom where you are planted.
Some people might look down on staying in the same town you were born in, but it isn't always bad. Just ask Zac Brown, he wrote a song about it.
One of my first jobs out of college was working for a company that was revitalizing our downtown area. This was an awesome job, and it often would call on me to promote our small town to other people. This caused me to take a better look at our local community. Because of this I found out a lot about where I grew up and lived.
When something tragic happens in our community, everyone takes on the burden. There are so many spaghetti dinners and fundraisers to help people who have received a devastating medical diagnosis or who have suffered a house fire.
Whenever a new restaurant opens in town, you can bet that you will see every single person you have ever known will be at that restaurant within a week. This is nice for catching up or seeing familiar faces.
I love that my kiddo has teachers in school that I used to go to school with, and that there are some teachers still teaching that my mom used to teach with.
I guess the point that I'm trying to make is that dreams change, and that is okay. If I would have left my small town, then I wouldn't be able to be an author, which is a dream that I had since I was little. We wouldn't have the support from our families that have been so integral in all stages of our adult life. Plus, I wouldn't have had a lot of the inspiration I did when it came to writing "Seraphim Falls." It's based on a small town and a lot of the stories came to me while doing things in my small town.
If you live in a large city and love it, that's awesome! I love to visit large cities, but for me, it will always be a small town that has a place in my heart.
Everyone, sing it with me: "Just a small town girl...."