The one thing that made me go was wanting more. I saw more all the time. My neighbors had more. Folks on the other side of town had a lot more. And people on TV, they had more than more. They had the most. I figured I could have more too if I left. So I went to college and got more education. I got a job behind a desk and got more money. I traveled and got to see more of the world. Along the way I picked up more plates, more rugs, more books, more towels, more underwear, more degrees, more kitchen gadgets, and more debt. A lot more debt. I'm forty this year, and I'd be lying if I didn't say that I still want more. More drives us. More keeps us alive. But for me at least, more has changed. Now I'd like more time to write. I'd like to hang out more with my boyfriend and our dog. I'd like more plants in my yard, and I'd like to hike more. But most of all, I'd like to go home more. I'd like to spend more time in the place I lived before I wanted more.
Why did you leave your small town..or stay...or come back? A few weeks ago, the people who developed the interactive documentary Hollow asked these questions. While I wasn't sure if Roanoke, where I grew up, counted as a truly small town, I did once feel a powerful need to leave there. It's a need that faded over time and eventually reversed. Now I'd like more time back home.
So I took a few minutes to jot down the above snippet. Readers on cowbird.com, the story-sharing site that partners with Hollow, seemed to identify with the piece. I thought folks here might like it too.
And how about you? Where did you grow up? Why did you leave or stay or return?
Home means something special for everyone but maybe even more so for people who come from a place as distinct as the Appalachian South. I'd love to hear your story. You can share it in a comment below, and if you'd like to be part of the Hollow project, you can also post it on cowbird.com.
Here's how: 1) Join Cowbird for free: https://cowbird.com/join/ 2) Click “Tell a Story," and start your story with this line--“The one thing that made me stay…” or “The one thing that made me go…” or “The one thing that made me return…” Keep your story short — 50 to 250 words. 3) Add a photo and/or some sound to illustrate your story. 4) Click the tag icon on the right and write “The One Thing." That will identify your story as part of the Hollow collection. 5) Hit publish and share with friends on Facebook, Twitter, or through email.