Photos by the wonderful husband, Adam
I love my town, but when I came here five years ago, I didn’t. I wanted to put in my three years and get out. I thought it was crowded with derelict strip malls, SUVs the size of destroyers, and people who built the present on the tombstones of the Confederacy.
Perhaps some of that is true-- I’ll wager more than some--but this city, I’ve learned, is so much more. It has noteworthy authors, passionate booksellers, aspiring writers, and voracious readers who’ve knit a literary community. We have art galleries, sports teams, gourmet restaurants and dives, unicycle riders, and quaint strips. On Saturday the husband and I went to Carytown to stop by a local music store, browse an independent used bookstore, and buy homemade milkshakes at the shop next door. Then, on the walk to the car, I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in over a year. That is when a revelation hit me: the city hadn’t changed, but my interaction with it had, and I’ve fallen in love.
Four years ago I went to work and back home, to school and back home, to the grocery store and back home (you get the idea), and the tasks of daily life showed me a mundane, unattractive place to live, but once I dug in, I fell in love. Sure, there are things I dislike. There are still abandoned shops while Short Pump continues to grow, there are still people who romanticize the Lost Cause, and there are still vehicles that could be used to invade small countries, but there are many more creative people who’ve reinvigorated the
. River City
I know I’m not the only one to rediscover my home. The lovely Lucy introduced me to an arts community in her home that I never would have guessed existed, and I grew up there.
So I have a question for you. How do you feel about where you live? Was there a defining moment when your opinion of your town changed?