For ages, science has been debating whether it is nature or our environment (nurture) that has the biggest impact on shaping who we are in this life and what we become. I don’t know what has officially been determined, but for me, claiming the latter would go a long way in explaining some things. Let me start from the beginning:
I was born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania at Albert Einstein Memorial Hospital (which explains why I’m a GENIUS). That was my first exposure to city life, however short-lived it may have been (about 3 months). From there I was shipped down South and propelled into the country life. My earliest memories were of fishing, and the dog eating the neighbor’s pig, and cows in the back yard watching my mother get dressed for church (yes that really happened). Smyrna Tennessee, was where I learned to shuck corn and break beans while sitting on the front porch drinking sweet tea. Ahhh, the simple life, too bad that didn’t stick either; see I forgot to mention that my mother Linda (who I affectionately refer to as Squirrel), was, and still is, a self-proclaimed Gypsy.
We didn’t move too far this time, just down the road to the Suburbs of Murfreesboro- too developed to be considered country, but far enough out to not be in the city. It was here where we had an affair with the “American Dream”, the house with the white picket fence, 2.5 kids (usually that refers to one in the oven, but in this instance it refers to my half-brother), 3 dogs, three vehicles, and a koi pond (which was actually a Mickey Mouse kiddy pool covered in landscaping plastic and dug into the ground, ingenious I know).
These were good times, but unfortunately, it was what I learned, or more accurately didn’t learn here, that caused much distress, disappointment, and disbelief later in life; but why rush to all that other stuff, right? The American Dream!!!! We lived it, loved it, and as usual with a gypsy, we left it. We left it for a haunted house across town. SERIOUSLY HAUNTED!!!! Little feet on mirrors and mysterious breakfast smells and cooking noises to end with an empty kitchen and no food HAUNTED!
This is the perfect time to give a little history lesson; You see, parts of the American Civil war were fought in Murfreesboro. Outside of the Historical National Battlefield, much of the land developed in Murfreesboro was also home for bloody battles and brutal murders…..which brings me back to the haunted house……we left!!!
This is where the lines get kind of blurry. We moved to Southern Kentucky; Country, right? It was more Urban Country which threw me off balance….like really off balance. This is where I befriended my high school biology teacher turned principle and bonded over our newly acquired belly button piercings in her office (it was leisure time, I never got in trouble because I’m an angel…..yeah lets go with that), but also where I saw a girl fight end with blood on the walls and one girl’s hair getting pulled out (like scalped by an Indian in the Old West… gross). This place taught me that I’ll never have a career in Basketball, but that Football, on the other hand, might be an option. This is where I saw The Jesse James rob a bank on horseback every year during the town’s parade and where there was a festival for Strawberries! SMH!!!
So, confused by this place, I decided to go back to my roots (sort of) to the big city….the big Country city of Nashville!!! Two years at Belmont University with aspiring musicians and country hipsters will cause even the most grounded person to question their identity, and let’s face it, I was the farthest things from grounded, I was waterlogged!!
So what did I do there? What any other sane person would do, I learned to play guitar and went to singer songwriter showcases at the CurbCafe’. But as with all good things, my city adventure came to an end and I ended up in farm country, Robertson County, where I laid roots and became (much to the amusement of my friends and family) Not Your Average……