We spend a lot of time on her Kentucky professing our love for the Bluegrass state and our respective hometowns/adopted homes/regions. I thought I'd mix things up and republish a post from my blog Salt + Nectar that deals with the other end of the emotional spectrum.
I love Paducah. I was born here. I grew up here. I got married here. I love seeing familiar faces on my daily errands and driving the same tree-lined streets every day. I love it so much I uprooted my entire existence to move back here and start a family.
So, imagine my surprise when I recently realized a shocking truth.
I'm also a little bit insecure about living here.
There was a certain cache to living in DC. People's eyes would light up when I told them where I lived. It was a total ego stroke to be asked questions about the best restaurants or how to get around on the metro. It was a beautiful city so full of excitement. Even if my life there wasn't always exciting, it sure seemed that way to other people.
No one gets excited when you tell them you live in Paducah, KY. If they know where it is, there are no questions about upcoming visits. In fact, we have a difficult time getting anyone to visit at all. To those who do come, I feel like I'm always in the midst of a sales pitch. "See, we have good food!" "Isn't downtown charming?!?" "We're the quilt capital of the world!"
I'm not sure why I care. What does it matter what anyone else thinks? I guess there's a little part of me—a little part of all of us—that wants to belong to something exclusive. And there's definitely something exclusive about living in a big city, even if it's with hundreds of thousands of other people.
But the truth is it shouldn't matter. My family and I are happy here. Paducah gave me a safe, loving community in which to grow and now it is providing the same space for my two boys.
Plus, we do have great food and charming streets and a shit ton of quilts.
~ Sarah Stewart Holland