There is a stretch of Interstate 59 that connects the great cities of Birmingham and Tuscaloosa as well as the two giant pieces of my heart that lie in each. I often travel this bit of road and ponder what I'm leaving behind and what awaits me at the end. Between jam sessions and dancing as only a rhythmically challenged white girl can I am overcome with the bittersweet feeling of a divided heart. No matter which direction Clementine (my car) is headed I'm hesitant to leave but also ecstatic to arrive. I started to rip off the great Charles Dickens and entitle this post "A Tale of Two Cities" but then I realized it has nothing to do with the cities themselves. Its all about the amazing friends in each location.
No matter where I've been in life God has seen fit to bless me with some pretty fantastic friends. As I was driving today I got to thinking of how spoiled I am to know so many awesome people. Whenever I have started a new adventure in life, be it school, work, or a new church I always get nervous. "Mom, what if the other kids don't like me?" Yes, I still call my mom and ask that at the age of 23. I'm loud, a tad bit overbearing and sometimes forget to use the filter between my brain and my mouth. But somehow there have always been people in my life willing to overlook those flaws and the many others I possess. I love people. Seriously love them and it doesn't take much to win me over. If a stranger smiles at me I smile back and in my head I'm thinking "What a nice person. Wonder what their name is?" I also have a bad habit of talking to strangers who would probably prefer to just be left alone. I'm sure there are many people I now consider friends who wished they'd ignored me and remained strangers. To those people I offer a huge thank you. You not only put up with me but do so while I'm getting on your last nerve.
I've been driving back and forth between Birmingham and Tuscaloosa now for the past 5 years, calling each home at different times. I've been through a lot of changes and transitions during that time and there have always been great friends, new and old, to make it easier. I hate how my heart feels torn in two every time I make that drive but I guess as far as problems go its a good problem to have. Thank you so much to all the people who make it hard to leave either place.