Unearthed from the many draft posts I have hidden away. My sincerest apologies friends for dragging one out from months ago…
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I did not make the mistake of creating a blogging New Year’s Resolution. No way am I putting myself under that kind of pressure. I can barely squeeze in a post within two months, let alone attempt something as crazy as some 365 day challenge! Who has the time for that? Professional bloggers and the retired, that’s who. My level of dedication has deteriorated quickly, but not because I have nothing to write about, there are always plenty of family tales and ‘Katelyn opinions’ to touch on. Mostly my absence can be blamed on my mental state after I get home, I would much rather crack open the journal than hop on my Macbook. And the thoughts that are penned in my journal are far too personal to be plastering on here, sorry. I have missed blogging, and the guilt from not making it a priority has been creeping up on me recently, needling me to write about something.
Every year the holidays bring back those high school classmates who wandered outside of our small home town. They return to visit their parents or grandparents who rooted themselves years ago in the valley. And along with their return some bring a sense of city pretentiousness that is cast upon us bottom dwellers with sideway pitying glances and remarks hinting at sheltered minds. Worst part of the holidays by far. This stuff should wait until our high school reunions at least, which thanks to social media may never happen. I try to avoid the “hot spots” in town in hopes of avoiding those awkward collisions, “Oh Katelyn, you are still living here, huh?”
I personally love the area I live in. I love that when I walk outside in the early (much too early) mornings I get to smell dewed pine and have a panoramic view of misty mountain tops. I love that I am a five-minute drive away from my family, especially the nephews who are more fun than anyone else, so there. It is hard for a person who has the traveling itch to have stayed put for so long but that is the choice I have made. I still look forward to the day I can take off on some adventure, but I am content, for now, with where I am. The culture in a small town is certainly different than that of city life, but that does not mean it’s of less importance. There are simply those who were created to travel abroad and forge a path removed from their early years, and those who like to stretch and learn while in familiar surroundings.
This is something that has been on my mind the past couple of weeks. Planted there by my own insecurity I am sure, and past hurts, but nonetheless a very valid concern. I have to question myself on whether I have stayed in my hometown because of fear. I don’t believe this is true, but it cannot be completely ruled out. I am known to have allowed myself to be victimized by fear in the past, so perhaps along the way an opportunity presented itself that I chose to turn down, or ignore completely, because the idea scared me. Nothing comes to mind though… except for my fling of a desire to go to Australia and attend the Hillsong Leadership School the summer following graduation. (That may have been slightly spurred by the plethora of cute men with Australian accents that were, in my mind, anxiously awaiting my arrival.)
I am passionately loyal, a trait I had clear back on the playground when I chose whose team I played soccer with at recess. (A boy Jeff P. who was very cute may have swayed my decision a bit.) I was raised by a mother who loved her town; she had the chance to live in sunny California and instead pestered my father into moving back to our little corner of Oregon after two years. She traded blue skies, sandy beaches, and malls, for bipolar weather, big forests, and small town shops. She loves her home town, therefore I find myself loving it to, resulting in a loyalty to Oregon comparable to that of a redneck’s loyalty to their ‘Merica. There are times where it gets a little tiring not being able to inconspicuously go out somewhere, you run into half a dozen (or more) people during your Wal Mart trips and while grocery shopping see every old church lady from your youth wanting to still pinch your cheeks and pat your head. But there is a level of comfort in that, and a reminder you’re not alone. Those are people who know you, know where you have come from and been through. Thus creating a feeling of camaraderie, a “we’re in this together” feeling.
It hasn’t been fear keeping me here, it has been love and acceptance and opportunities for me to do what I have been gifted to do. Until I start hearing God directing me to another place (fingers crossed that is never Florida – gators and frizzy hair, yikes!) I will stay put.
However, with all that said, I am still in desperate need of a vacation, or some kind of mission trip scenario. So, if you live near Disneyland, and want to go pray for people while on the rides, let me know ASAP!