We Were Here; We Are Here

Hello beautiful WordPress editor. Hello beautiful laptop and Photoshop and Chrome and all the other ingredients needed to craft a blog. I know it’s only been a month, but I’ve missed you like crazy. I’ve missed coming up with Inklings designed as trail heads to guide my lovely audience down their path to a complete piece. I’ve missed compiling my thoughts into introspective essays about my own life journey. And most importantly, I’ve missed you — my blogging family — and the always-encouraging remarks we all share with each other.

I’m a fan of short reintroductions, so instead of dwelling on the tamper-proof past, I’d prefer to jump right in, flip all the switches back to their online mode, and get to work!

What is it like to truly know a place completely and move away, only to come back later by choice? When we moved from Montgomery, Alabama to St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., I knew almost everything about the “Gump,” as it were. That’s the coolest nickname for Montgomery of a city fraught with uncool nicknames, so that will be its frequent designation on Normal Happenings. The history, the culture, the roads, and the geography of the place were second-nature to me, even if I spent most moments pushing against them with stubborn resilience. I never caught an American Southern accent — honestly my syntax fits far closer to that of an STL-native.

Still, the rolling topography of Central Alabama was my home, and among the historical infamy of the place, I also had history with the people. Family and friends had built their lives, core values, and houses upon the green hills, and, it seems, so did I despite myself. Before I knew it, I had become respected nonconformist who questioned established norms. I’ve been reminded frequently of late how “liked” I was — something I couldn’t really validate in the moment.

I carried those feelings with me to STL; but honestly being away from it all was a breath of fresh air to me. Sure, it took a while to find my footing in STL, but once I did I enjoyed being away from everyone I knew. We began making friends, and found ourselves being appreciated much quicker than before.

So, when this opportunity in Alabama came up, we were notably torn. On the one hand, this was a solid career-move for me, with better benefits and markedly lower cost of living. On the other, it would require us to leave the place we loved — STL offered us a place to heal from past wounds, and we did so with us much grace as we could muster.

Oh, and, it was the birthplace of Normal Happenings… so there’s that.

There is one thing about Alabama, however, that makes things not-so-bad anymore — and it’s not about the state. At the end of the day, home is not a place. Humans have moved beyond the need for the protection of a village, and the world is a lot smaller than it was even a century ago. Home is your values, your experiences, and the people you bring with you. Home, for me, is making an impact in people’s experiences and spreading positivity to those you meet as travelers through this life.

And so, though I would honestly rather be in St. Louis, I can say with sincerity that it’s good to be home.

That’s a wrap! | Completed 7/29/19 11:07 P.M.

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Matthew // Normal Happenings

Gump-based Blogger. Graphic Designer. Happily Married. One day I'll actually complete a book I'm happy with. I love pizza, video games, and using way too many ellipses...

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