I’m sad for everybody who doesn’t have the opportunity to grow up in Louisiana. In it’s small towns with life-long friends and family. Where nobody’s phone number has changed in 40 years or more.
As a kid, I felt constrained by the endless sameness and couldn’t wait to leave, get out and see the world. But I can see now that my growth was ennabled by my steady foundation– like a tree with healthy roots, I flourished.
When I was younger, everybody got the same 2.5 channels and we grew up with a common foundation. Now, if you don’t like the 800 choices on television, there’s NetFlix and YouTube, and we’ve lost something in the fragmentation of individuality.
We’re no longer forced to sit through the commericals for Jerry’s Kids, Starving Children in Africa, or the iconic Native American crying because of the litter.
As we fast-forward through everything unpleasant, it becomes harder to relate to others, harder to be compassionate. This country is in desperate need of compassion.
Now that I’m an adult, married and a mother of two, I’m frustrated with the endless sameness. Life hardly seems to progress, but soon my chicks will fly the nest. It’s a natural progression that I dread and yearn for in equal measure.
The reward for sucking it up and sticking it out isn’t readily visible. It’s not glorified on television. Wrinkles and gray hair aren’t worthy attibutes to Hollywood. Comfortable shoes and even more comfortable pants aren’t celebrated.
I’m thankful and lucky that I have friends and family who show the way. And keep me focused, my eyes on the prize.