When I moved to Arkansas, I wouldn’t quite say I did so kicking and screaming, but I would say it wasn’t exactly an easy transition. Previously, I had left my hometown of Miami, Florida for San Diego, California because the pace of life was slower. It was half the population and I thought people were just so laid back. Then I visited my husband’s hometown of Prairie Grove, Arkansas and soon learned what a slow pace really is (he’s heard that story about five-hundred times).
Sometimes in life, we don’t know what we need until the universe shows it to us. The truth is that my life was pretty wonderful, but it needed something greater. That led me to do something I said I’d never do; involve myself with a man who has children and re-marry. Famous last words…
Until then, I thought I had it all figured out. Life showed me that there are things out there greater than I. At first, Arkansas was hard on me. From mosquitos and bugs the size of my head to almost an offensive humidity in the summers and (what I consider to be) bitter cold in the winters, I found a reason to fight accepting my new life at just about every turn. There were things I hadn’t seen before that I encountered in Arkansas. There were things I hadn’t heard before. There was a period of culture shock and, at first, instead of embracing the good things I concentrated on what I didn’t like. I shunned advances from those trying to comfort and encourage me. I was embarrassed to tell people I lived in Arkansas. I would say, “I just moved from San Diego or I’m based out of San Diego.” Now THAT embarrasses me.
When we arrived, a few people told me to give it a year. I thought to myself, “I could give it a lifetime and this place just won’t be home.” I was wrong. I couldn’t tell you the exact time or day, but something in me finally clicked.
Humbled by the farming community in my own back yard, I soon learned about true organic foods and things like beekeeping. I set my eyes upon some of the most beautiful places I’d ever visited (and believe me, a military brat with a career that’s taken me around the world – I’ve visited a whole lot of places). I would travel for work and long to get back to the peace and quiet – and deer family on our land. I would go back to San Diego for meetings and found myself driving in the right lane instead of shaking my fist at people going too slow in the left lane. I changed.
I started blogging to tell the story of a wife who traveled for her career while married to a man in the military. I rebranded to tell the story of a city wife living the country life thinking I’d point out all the ways the country needed to be changed; instead I learned it was I who needed to change. I’ve stepped back to examine what that means and how to best share the story of Arkansas and those who live here. It’s quite a story to tell. This place is a gem (literally and figuratively). I hope, in time, I can do it some justice.
I now proudly call this place home and wherever I may wander off to next, I take solace and yes, even pride, in knowing I have such a beautiful place to come back to. I hope you enjoy this small slice of The Natural State and when you decide to stop by for your own Arkansas adventure, look me up!
Country Life, City Wife
Just a City Girl Living in a Country World….