Ever heard this song by Tim McGraw before? If you haven't take a listen, because I'm pretty sure he wrote it about my life.
Well, I'm from a map dot.
A stop sign on a black top.
No one has ever heard of my hometown. People 20 minutes away don't even know where it is. But the truth is, it's like every other American, run-of-the-mill, small farm town. Our high school hosted Tractor Day every summer, where farm kids would park their rides on the front lawn of the school. We had a Homecoming Spirit Week cow that everyone competed for...and the seniors always won. After graduation, my friends and I had a bonfire at our friend's house where we drank beer, played Truth or Dare and skinny-dipped.
Life was simple, slow-paced and very much alcohol-infused, as there was not much else to do there.
I think this song is especially true for me because as a college-bound, 18-year old girl, my greatest ambition was to leave that town and never come back. I wanted to change the world, be immersed in new cultures and escape the inevitable, small-town drama. I wanted to be someone.
Seven years later, those dreams haven't completely died out. I still hope and pray that I'll leave this world a better place than when I entered it. But I feel almost guilty for abandoning my hometown the way that I did. All of my high school friends have since left, and aside from holidays to visit the parents, there's no reason for me to be there.
And yet, living in a major metropolitan area has allowed me to see that I may not have given my hometown enough of a chance. You see, in a city filled with hundreds of thousands of people, I have never felt so lonely. Never have I so badly craved that small-town drama.
A few weeks ago when I made an unplanned trip up there, I couldn't help but make a mental note of the fact that I felt so incredibly at peace. The sun shown over the glistening corn fields, and I smiled as I recognized a woman from my old Church. Everything was exactly how I had left it.
Which is the beauty of my hometown. No one really changes, the topography stays the same and the snow relentlessly pours down on it without fail, every single year. In an ever-changing and chaotic world, it's nice to know I will always have Cato to come back to.
It's nice to know that, although it may not be in my childhood hometown, one day I'm gonna live where the green grass grows.