Marking Time

I like to remember important dates. Not just birthdays and wedding anniversaries, oh no. My brain latches on to what might seem to the casual observer as the oddest, most random dates, and remembers them as they pass each year. Its not that the events of every day of my life are ingrained forever in my mind, but there are life changing moments that I seem to know will be important enough to remember.

For the past five years I have marked the passing of December 18th because it counts the years lived in Tennessee. December 16th 2007 was the day we arrived, 17th the day we closed on the house and slept in empty rooms on bare floors with nothing but out sleeping bags and the clothes in our backpacks, but the 18th was the day the truck came and we actually started our lives here.

I was sixteen going on seventeen, and within the first year of living here, I experienced real heartbreak and loneliness for the first time. In the second year I graduated from high school and started community college . In the third year, I finally found a place to call my own at the library where I worked. The fourth year brought     more change, in that I moved away to school in East Tennessee, but it was a change I was ready for--and needed. Now the fifth year has passed, making me twenty-one. It has brought me many adventures, some of the closest friends I've ever had, and hindsight to see that with out the past five years, I wouldn't quite be the same person you see today. I like the "me" those years have shaped.

As I have taken to saying to people who inquire about where I've liked living the best, New York birthed me, and I am proud to be a Yank, (though people question me when they hear my patchwork accent). Florida grew me, and though I may not like sweet tea, I'm glad to be at least southern in spirit. But Tennessee has matured me, and while I will NEVER like country music, I sure owe Nashville a lot. 

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