There is an elephant around lately that I feel is demanding some attention. An elephant who goes by the name of “Memphis”. I wish I could tell you how many times I have been asked “why” in regards to my moving here. So in an effort to clear some of the smoke, I will attempt to share my heart on the matter.
It is a tremendous understatement to simply say that I have been incredibly blessed in my short 22 years of living. I have 2 (or 3, depending on how you look at it) wonderful parents who have (in my humble opinion) raised me very well, 2 gorgeous sisters who have already exceeded me in height and knowledge, and an overwhelmingly loving family on both sides that would do anything for anyone at the drop of a hat.
I have always lived and loved near people that have very similar, if not the same, views, beliefs, life styles, etc as I did. While the South may bless their hearts and sweeten our tea, I had not experienced diversity the way I did when I moved away for college. (Yes, very VERY much still in the South, I know. Cowbells.)
Moving away gave me the opportunity to meet people that were incredibly different than myself. It allowed me a chance to work in places that served low income families and children who have less than I ever knew was possible. Working in the field of disabilities I witnessed children being taken advantage of and/or abused due to lack of protection. College was a whirlwind of experience that introduced me to a new world. One that I had lived in, yet away from, my entire life.
One of the biggest driving factors in my decision to be where I am is the belief that children are a product of their environment. Of the 30 kids in my room, not one of them chose to live where or how they do. Whatever that may look like. I can’t change their circumstances, but I can be an element of their environment. I can love, discipline, hope, befriend, listen, and care for them. I will spend more time with these 30 kids this school year than they will with anyone else. 32,400 minutes of time with me to be exact. (LUCKY KIDS!) That’s 32,400 chances to take one minute and make a tiny investment into someone other than myself.
Opportunity. It was handed to me on a platter with a silver spoon and for that I am forever grateful. Who am I to not use such an incredible blessing for something and someone other than myself?
Yes, Memphis is far from “home”. That is if you define “home” as a location on a map. Right now, this is my home. This where I want to be and more importantly I believe this is where I am supposed to be. So, until I feel the need or desire to make a change, I will continue to live, love, and make my own life here in my precious apartment and in this (relatively) giant city while giving everything I can to the people around me.