Saturday, May 31, 2008

Four Things I Miss About Arkansas

To be fair I don't think these four are really specific to Arkansas, but rather the living situation Arkansas gave me. It would probably be more appropriate to call this the four things I miss most about my old home.

1. People -- Moving away meant leaving behind some incredible people. I have some great friends in Arkansas who don't compare to people that I have met anywhere else in the world. I regret that I didn't spend more time with them this past year, but imagine I'd have that regret no matter how much time we spent together.
I kind of want to make them their own number in this list, but they are people two so I suppose they belong here. I miss the triplets. It is a completely different kind of miss than the friends I left behind. I miss the adults, but I've moved a lot in my life, and experience has shown me that the important ones keep in touch. Friends don't have to disappear when they move away. In fact, last weekend I was in a wedding for a friend that I haven't lived near since high school. These kids are different though. I went to Branson and the zoo with them. We sat around the table and ate dinner together. I read them stories and tucked them in at night. I have a picture of them in my wallet because I talk about them so much I need the visual reference for people. I'm hooked on these kids, and I'm going to miss seeing them grow up. That is a lot harder than leaving a friend I talk to mostly over e-mail anyway.

2. Acquaintances -- This is less about specific people and more about friendships that my living situation allowed. There were people that I "lived with" on campus who I would only see once a month or so in passing. They are great people, and we probably would have been good friends, but we never really spent time together. Living on campus made that ok because we would still see each other and get the updates on one another's lives.

3. Conveniences -- I'll be the first to admit that I am living in a pretty convenient place. Restaurants open past nine, 24 hour pharmacies, cultural experiences at my fingertips, and public transportation to take me to all of it. There are some conveniences that you get only by living on campus. I'm going to miss working in the same building as the library. I am going to miss having the blood-mobile on the walk home every time I am eligible to donate. I am going to miss knowing what "restaurant" all of my friends are going to be eating at, and that I can catchup with them there sometime between 5 and 7. I am going to miss the posters and sidewalk drawings telling me what bands are nearby and who is doing the current food drive. I am going to miss having the ability to live, eat, work, and socialize all in the same place.

4. The Energy -- You could probably call it an aura, or personality, but I fed off of it like energy. Especially these past two years living in a freshman hall it was fantastic. August comes and the students are just bubbling over with the excitement of being there and the potential of the upcoming year. Finals come and the whole campus is calmer yet supportive. Living on a campus and being a student instantly creates a community where we all share stresses and deadlines. You may be working on a film and I may be finishing a research paper, but they all have to be done before the semester is over. We also all share the same new beginnings and renewed excitement. There is a distinct undulation to the amount and types of energy on campus that is fueled by the students and their shared experience. I already miss being a part of that as a student.

What do you love about where you live?

1 comment:

Timothy said...

What do I love about Knoxville, TN? Gosh, there's so much!

I love my apartment, and the fact that nearly all my neighbors are international students with families. I love the smells of ASian, Indian, and African cuisine when I step outside my door, and I love hearing their children scamper up the stairs.

I love the produce stands across the street, and the Pilot station where I buy gas and fountain drinks and chat up the cashiers. I love the high school right next door to my building, where on any given Friday night I hear the comforting sounds of a press box announcer giving the world a play by play of the football game or soccer match or track meet.

I love the restaurants and bars and atmosphere in Knoxville. The Tomato Head and Preservation Pub, with their outrageous vegan cupcakes and brewed on-site beer.

I love that the city has distinct areas that are like different cities themselves, that in South Knox I know I'll find better deals on groceries and the most amazing thrift stores, out west has all my hoity toity needs (by that I mean Target), and in the historic district in North Knoxville I am surrounded by old homes, towering magnolias, and James Agee's relatives homes.

I sound like such a sap, but I really do love Knoxville.

I hope you're well and enjoying the Big Apple!