“Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” – Ray Bradbury | Fahrenheit 451
When I first began to think of what to write, I had decided on taking three days to do three hikes at different levels of difficulty, photographing those day trips, and writing about the experience. Alas, here I am, having only done one of the three planned hikes, and deciding while on the trail that there was something more important to write about.
It was on the day of my high school graduation that my father decided to tell me we were moving to Oklahoma the following day. Rather than attending graduation parties, or hanging out with friends that night, I found myself at home. Packing. I was distraught, to say the least. The previous fall semester I had applied for early admission to Baylor University and Tarleton State, both of which I was accepted to. Summer, in my head, was to be a time of deciding which university to attend, not a time for boxing up my belongings and moving across state lines.
Oklahoma quickly turned into Arkansas, and our home in Dallas quickly went from being rented off to being sold. Thus began my life in the Ozarks. My first summer here soon became my fifth, ping ponging back and forth between Northeast Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas. As of this week I have been an Arkansas resident for five years and it has been the wildest, most heartbreaking, exhilarating, creativity inducing time of my young life. And it has been perfect.
It is here that I have fallen in and out of love with others, with career choices, with nature, with my writing, and with myself.
Please don’t be afraid of change. See the world, or the next state over. Venture into the woods, find a little of yourself in every leaf, branch, spider, patch of moss. Celebrate these.
Your local Ozarkan sad gurl,