I was born in a large American city. When I was about six months old, my parents packed me into their Oldsmobile station wagon and set off for Broadway, N.C. (Never heard of it? I'm not surprised). Broadway can be traversed from one end to another in about 20 minutes and its population is now just over 1000 people. After a few months of living there, my parents decided that it was time to move on and we arrived in Miami, FL by car a few days later.
Growing up in a "big" city definitely had it's ups and downs. Overall, however, I feel lucky that my parents decided to leave the sticks. Many of the small towns I've traveled to and seen in movies and T.V. are filled with natural beauty and and a sense of community you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere in Miami. What I enjoy about large metropolitan areas, however, is that you have this confluence of people from all around the world and all walks of life, as well as a variety of venues and meeting places for them to come together and bring their diverse experiences to the same table. This exchange is a prime breeding ground for ideas and invention and, ultimately, progress. This is why I hope to one day return to a city and allow my children to reap the benefits of city life.
When it came time for college, my then boyfriend and I decided to pursue a future together and, after researching various universities, we settled on the college town we have called home for the last 7 years. Many college towns (ours included) are strange in that they are like hybrids of small towns and large cities. You have the natural beauty ( and on a more sour note, much of the racism and close-mindedness) of small American rural communities and at the same time, spread amongst it all, that intellectually charged environment I so enjoy. This makes it a decent (while not ideal) place to have and raise a family, which is what we did when we married and welcomed our first child, Dahlia, into the world in 2008.
Motherhood has changed everything. Whether in the boondocks or metropolis, Dahlia makes life indescribably joyous and as long as I am with her, I will always feel at home.
Dahlia at 6 weeks
Dahlia at 4 months
Dahlia at 6 months, S. Beach, Miami, FL.
Dahlia at 9 months
Dahlia at 1 year.