You probably already know that I lived in Nashville, TN for well over half of my life. I am originally from Louisiana, but my father moved me to Tennessee my freshman year of high school where I stayed for over twenty years. I realize I am telling my age here, but it’s all good. After years of living in the big city where life literally resembles “keeping up with the Jones'” and working 60 hours a week to pay for a house that you never get to enjoy because you are always at work, I chose to move back home to small town Louisiana where there are family roots and history dating back to the 1800’s. I am a small town girl, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I craved simplicity. I craved family. I ached in my heart to be present with my children more and to show them life outside of the big city. Sure there are things that I miss about the city such as 4G cell phone connection, unlimited wifi, and Starbucks to name a few. But there is something about walking around on the farm that my Great Great Grandfather built for my Great Grandparents as a wedding present, and where my Grandmother was born and raised. My father now lives on this farm, and one day it will belong to me and/or my children. There is something about being able to walk outside at night and see gazillions of stars in the sky that are not hidden by big city lights. And there is something about living a slower paced life! There is history here that has created a sense of pride that only comes from a deeply rooted family.
I realize that not everyone gets it. We live in a world where people are judged based on what they have accomplished, how nice of a home they live in, and how much money they make. I was part of that system for years, but I have never been more happy than where I am now. Jason and I live in a modest home in the country that we have renovated and modernized. It is a simple home, but it is full of love and laughter rather than busy schedules and stressful days. But it is nice to have the freedom to pack up and travel whenever we want.
The girls and I just returned home last night after spending a week in Tennessee visiting friends and family. We stayed super busy the entire trip. We wanted to show my adopted daughter all the things that we love about where we lived such as the Tennessee Aquarium, the Nashville Zoo, Bell Buckle Cafe, Old Stone Fort State Park, and several restaurants that we love. And even though it was difficult to say goodbye to the people that we love in Tennessee, we were so ready to be back home in small town Louisiana. Even the gravel road that we live on (that we usually complain about) was welcoming in a way.
There is nothing wrong with being a small town girl. I have had the luxury of living both big city and small town, and I can honestly say that I am at a place in my life where I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else. I may not live in an area where there are as many “opportunities” as there are in a big city, but that is not what I want for my life, and not everyone that knows me can understand that. I may not have a big corporate job and a big fancy house, but I have the luxury of watching my children grow up and being completely present for it all. I have the freedom, because of my job as a photographer and a husband who makes an excellent living, to choose when and where I want to work so that I can travel with my children and show them the world. I have the freedom to create memories WITH them rather than being stuck in an office all day without them. Don’t get me wrong. I am not at all saying that my way is better than those moms who choose to have a full time career. I am just saying that happiness and fulfillment looks different for me and my girls.
I am a small town girl, and I love it.