I am a tourist in my hometown. After returning home after my summer adventures, I feel like I am more of a tourist than a resident. Sure! I relate to knowing about things in a southern small town like the passion of football season and going out to eat at a bar-b-q joint but I feel less attracted to doing those things now. I feel like what I want to do is not what someone who grew up in Birmingham, Alabama wants to do at all, such as go out and find neat places to take pictures of-like places a tourist would visit. I also like exploring the indie, artsy parts of the metro area such as unique coffee and record shops downtown or climbing up rooftops with out-of-town creative friends. As summer rolls around again, I don’t feel the inclination to listen to country music at all and when the humidity strikes, I long for the arid west. It’s not that there is nothing to do, it is just that I do things that are not what normal people who live here do.
What about my old high school friends? Most of the people I hung out with in high school are married and having their own kids. Especially at or before the age I am now which is 21 (in February). When I see them now, I feel like most of them look at me funny like I’m a weirdo or there is something wrong with me. I also find it interesting that they talk to me like they assume that I’m going to eventually go down the same path that they have gone down already-settling down and having kids. Kids are indeed a blessing from the Lord but they are not a promise. A husband is not either. And I am not going to orient my life around settling down, especially since I have no idea what God may call me to do next. Once again, there is nothing wrong with finding a spouse or having kids, but I am not going to sit around and wait for it to happen when obviously, that is not what God has for me at the moment.
“How are you?” When people ask about my life, I feel like the updates I give them are out of the norm and a little awkward to talk about. Online school and graduating at an early age are foreign concepts to most people who ask about me. In addition, after having a year with many great life experiences such as working as a crew member on a major motion picture, working as an intern for a nationally syndicated radio station, and going out west multiple times during the summer I feel like what I have to give updates on now is somewhat boring in comparison.
My old stomping grounds? There is definitely nothing in me that wants to revisit any of my old high school haunts. However, there are things that call out to me in my childhood that I used to do that I feel a longing to do again such as mountain biking, spending time in the outdoors with my Siberian Husky, and camping. However, all of the things that come to mind can easily be done somewhere else, not necessarily in my hometown.
I am a lone Wolf. There is definitely a shortage of people my age who are young and single and taking life one day at a time in my community. At first, this bugged me but as it became apparent that this was where God had me, I decided that I must be all here, especially for ALL people that I come in contact with, not just young people. As a result, I have found that I have made some great friends who I would not have originally sought out had I had the distraction of peers my age. And who said being different was bad?
I am a lone Wolf.
“Are you from here?” Most people I interact with don’t think that I live in the Birmingham metro area, they think I must have moved here from out of town. While, I would love to say I was from North Carolina or Colorado or Seattle, I am indeed a Birmingham native. My creative friend from San Antonio was commenting on how all the women in Birmingham dress alike. I was pleased when I asked him if I dressed the same as well that he said that I had a unique style that stood out.
I do stand out. I am different. Sometimes it’s hard to be different. However, as a Christian, I am called to be different anyway.
Psalm 4:3 (NKJV)-“But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; The Lord will hear when I call to Him.”
I am different for a reason.
Adventure lies before me… In conclusion, indeed I do get the vibe that this may not be the place I will live forever and that God may have something else in mind for me, But while I am here, even though the conditions may not be what I had in mind in regards to community, I have kept my heart open and have found community anyway. Being different is not such a bad thing after all. I feel like right now God is asking me if I’m ready for something. Every day I hear it. While checking out groceries at my cashier job, in the rhythm of a song, In the drumming of my feet on the ground when I run, in the rush of the wind at my open windows….Are you ready? Are you ready? Soon He will say, “Are you ready? Well, let’s go.”
I saw a big frontier in front of me and I heard Somebody say, “Let’s go.” –Steven Curtis Chapman.