I just recently celebrated a birthday. I've had 32 of these now. Thirty-Two.
It is not what I thought it would be when I was 17.
My teenage mind imagined I would be a working woman making plans and cupcakes and a weekly grocery list for my family. Evenings would be spent reading bed time stories and playing "This little piggy" with my mini-me's toes before falling asleep next to my husband while talking about our upcoming trip to Disney World.
Married with children. That was 32.
I may have just described the lives of a lot of women my age but it's definitely not mine. Hopefully there's still some playful sex in there somewhere but maybe not. I wouldn't know. It's not my life.
If the 17 year old version of myself only knew how wrong she was. Fifteen years later, I am not married and the desire to have children seems to have been replaced with wanderlust that even I don't understand. I am often torn between my desire to travel around like a gypsy and the familiar comforts of home.
I want coffee at sunrise on a cobblestone street and the view of a sunset from the balcony of a villa. I want to stare into a campfire surrounded by stars in the desert. I want a hot air balloon ride with picture perfect grassy hills below. I want to swim naked in the ocean if only for a few minutes just to say that I've done it. I want the smell of pine trees mixed with the odor of my hiking boots which haven't been used yet but one day they will be broken in and worn out and that's the scent I have in mind. I want the sound of chatter in an unfamiliar language followed by the sound of laughter. I want to kiss someone and dance in the rain like they do in the movies. I want to stay in a hostel. I want to see the view of an incredible city from the window of a helicopter.
Venice. Greece. Arizona. Ireland. Hawaii. Colorado. Spain. Oregon. Paris. Just for starters.
I don't know where this longing came from. As a child, I didn't travel that much so it's not that I was raised this way. I didn't pay much attention in my geography and history classes so it doesn't stem from the study of other places. We were constantly moving when I was kid so you would think that more than anything I'd want to create a life somewhere and stay put. Not the case at all. At least for now.
Ennis is my hometown. I basically grew up in my dad's restaurant. B.J's Cafe. Best chicken fried steak in town. I learned to drive by cruising Ennis Avenue with my friends on Friday nights. I moved away after high school but I quickly returned to be with my first love. I opened my own salon on my favorite brick paved street at the age of 24 which lead to meeting my very best friend who came in as a new client for a haircut. I have created my life around this community.
When I talk of moving or traveling for extended periods of time, I know my clients get a knot in their stomach because there's nothing worse than the first time you put your hair in the hands of a stranger, cross your fingers and hope for the best. It's almost worse than a break up but there are plenty of talented hair stylists in the community so I'm sure they will find their rebound stylist.
The thought of completely disconnecting from Ennis is bittersweet. It's like a relationship with a really nice guy who would give you stability and support you in anything you do but for some reason you can't fully give him your heart. It's easy and it's comfortable and you don't want to start all over again with someone else because what if the new guy is an asshole!?!
But what if he isn't?
What if he's amazing? You'll never know if you don't follow your heart, right?
I was recently asked how I would feel about my writing being published for the community and if I would be willing to write fun stories about my perspective of life in this town. I want to say yes but how can I when I feel this way? It's a great place with plenty of potential for growth and development and I have no doubt that plans are in the works and wonderful things are in the future for Ennis. My business is there but my heart is not.
My 2002 Senior class quote was "I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future." Most of my high school memories are a blur so I can't believe I even remember that. It couldn't be more true and fitting for me now.
I guess in a way this is my notice. My one-year notice. If I say it out loud, if I type here for you to read, it makes it real. My apartment lease is up in February of 2017 and that will also mark my 3 year anniversary of working independently as a stylist at Tisha & Company. It was my intention after I closed my salon to make travel a priority while still accommodating my clientele. I have done that. I want to set a new intention now.
I know that people will have questions. I don't have the answers. I'm sure when the answers reveal themselves, I will be compelled to write about it.
I sometimes refer to my life as SteviTV...Stay tuned.
"Cause I'm still the girl from Golden
Had to get away so I could grow
But it don't matter where I'm goin'
I'll still call my hometown home."
Kacey Musgraves, Dime Store Cowgirl