Monday, April 18, 2016

Just A Small Town Girl

I was raised in a small town in Maine.

When you are young, you don't think your life is special. It's just your life. You don't know that you are incredibly lucky to be able to grow your own food. You don't know how crazy and amazing it is for you to be able to go into a wood lot and play amongst the trees while your family literally harvests their own firewood. You don't understand that any of that is unusual or unique, because it's just your life. 

It will be some time before it strikes you as cool.

The other thing you won't understand is that your small town life is a gift. You will spend some time wanting to escape. This is normal, and it's entirely okay -- it's hard to be surrounded be people who have known you since you were three. You will want, and need, to go someplace where you can carve out a new identity for yourself; at the very least, you will need to know that you can make it on your own.

And then? You will come to realize that you made the best friends you will ever have when you were just a kid. That these are the people who will love you unconditionally, forever. Like your family, because that's what they are: family. They are brothers and sisters, tied to you with the invisible binding of love and shared history. If you needed a kidney, you would only have to post it and everyone would get tested to see if they were a match. If one of them needed one, you would roll up your sleeves and stand in line, ready to tell a nurse that your left arm is much better for drawing blood.

You have kept things from them out of pride. They have done the same. You forgive each other because you understand.

Now that I'm older, I get all of this. I also know that I'm blessed to have the people I grew up with in my life.

So much love.

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