What Is Love, Anyway?

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn.
That’s alright, because I like the way it hurts.
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry.
That’s alright because I love the way you lie,
I love the way you lie.
We were engaged to be married May 21, 2011 in Knoxville, at Krutch Park.  Reception would have followed at the Square Room.  The bride would have worn Alfred Angelo.  Tiffany blue, lavender, and sea foam green would have welcomed guests in happy bundles of rustic flowers, ribbon, and various other decor.

We would have been together for two and a half years on our wedding day, set a week after my graduation from the University of Tennessee.

Would have is becoming a reality to me as quickly as we sped through the stages in our relationship.

We started out fast to begin with… I was barely single for two days when he crashed into my life.  Just like that, his mystery, his smell, his strength, his warmth, his sincerity, his touch swept me off my feet and away into his arms… his beautiful, strong arms.

There was not a flaw on that body.  His eyes could make Chuck Norris’s heart melt.  His hands could soothe and protect.  He was Superman to me, and I was his Lois Lane.  I thought we were perfect for each other.

Until one day I found out his dark secret, the skeleton in his closet that still liked to come out and play.  I thought I could, you know, “fix” him.  Make him stop.  Make him believe he didn’t have to feed it.  Change him.

You can’t change people.  I thought you could, but you can’t.  His mom was right about that; you can ignore it and be together, or you can fight it and lose.  I believe that was the last thing she ever said to me.

Ok, so he had a dark secret.  I didn’t want to dump him for it, so I sympathized.  I tried to be understanding, caring, wanting to help… but then I realized that he wasn’t going to stop just because I asked him to.  No, he was going to keep doing it because he didn’t care enough about me to fix it.

So I stopped playing good cop, and I let bad cop come out.

I got mad.  I yelled.  I cried.  I pleaded.  I begged him to stop this nonsense, because it was tearing me down with him.  My self-esteem is (and currently still is) at an all-time low because of his addiction.  I wasn’t enough to keep him from doing it.  I wasn’t good enough for him.

Then the lies began.  He lied to me for two weeks, I found out, but gave him another chance because I couldn’t imagine life without him.

Then he lied.  Again.  And I found indisputable proof on my bed.
Finally, he told the truth.  But it was too late.  I was already gone.

He sped into my life, with me in the passenger seat.  We were speeding towards marriage, our future, what we thought we wanted, but we both knew it wasn’t right.  Someone had to throw on the brakes, and when I did, we flew through the windshield and landed broken on the pavement.

All that’s left to do now is pick up the pieces and start over.

Hello, self, it’s been a while since it was just me and you.  Let’s go find out who you are.

Homebird, sing.

Ayres HallFor some reason, May is a month of change for me.  Graduations are everywhere, professors and parents are sending off their young ones, preparing them for a world of work, education, and challenge.  They may not always make it known, but parents always have a spot in their hearts yearning for their children to come back home someday.

Parents don’t always know it, but sometimes the lessons and values they teach their children stick with them.  The warm feelings of hot chocolate on the couch during a cold wintery day and homemade potato soup for a sore throat stay with us for a long, long time to come.

Those warm feelings, memories, smells beckon me back time and time again to the country town where everyone knows each other on a first-name basis, if you run out of gas someone you know isn’t too far away, and there’s only a scarce few red lights you can run at night when no one is watching.  The smell of Red Door on a big sweater never fades; the smell of Old Spice mixed with old man never ages on a white button-down shirt, nor does the sound of Dad’s radio in the garage grow silent.  Things like that never go away.

It’s been three years since I graduated from high school and moved to Knoxville for furthering my education at the University of Tennessee.  Most of those three years I beat myself up for coming here over a guy I ended up breaking up with halfway through my sophomore year.  Sometimes I still regret my decision, at least, until Sunday night.

All students here at UT have thought about, at least once, about going on the roof of the esteemed Ayres Hall on the Hill.  It’s easily the highest point on campus, and it looks over all of downtown, campus, the Fort Sanders area, and beyond; it truly is a sight to take in for yourself.

My friends, Rob, and I (after roasting marshmallows at the Torchbearer, another UT landmark) roamed over to the Hill and parked.  We walked up the road, and since Ayres is under renovations and fenced off, we had to find a way through the fence.  We did, and after finding a way into the building, walked in.  We walked through the main area, up the flights of stairs until they ended on the third floor, then found an alternate, metal staircase that took us up to the fourth floor and ultimately the bell tower.

I have a fear of heights—and immense, horrifying fear of heights.  At this point, it was obvious that no one should have been allowed into that portion of the building, and I was getting nervous.  We were SO close to the top, but I couldn’t manage to muster the courage to climb the last few sets of steep stairs to the “dark room,” then the roof.

I just knew I wasn’t going to make it, and I would have stayed at the bottom until everyone made it to the top, then came back down.

One of the girls in the group came back down the stairs and gave me a pep talk.  “I’m not going to leave you down here alone,” she said, “but I’m not NOT going up there, either.”  Basically, I had no choice but to finish my climb and make my efforts worth something.

It was dark.  I was scared.  With what little light there was, I could see straight through the stairs and all the way to the bottom.  It was a long, long way down (for me, at least).

To her (and my) surprise, I decided I was going to finish my journey to the top.

I followed the people in front of me, and when I felt the rush of fresh, cool air hit my face I knew I had made it.

I climbed out of the hole and onto the flat roof.  The first thing I saw was Neyland Stadium below, then the sparkling river reflecting the light from the moon and stars, then Downtown Knoxville, and then the faces of the people I had made it with.
A smile crept across my face the way we crept around the Hill from the community service officer below.  And then excitement hit me.

If it hadn’t been for the fear of getting caught, I would have yelled from the roof top, “I’m the king of the world!”  It felt like I’d just climbed Mount Everest, and every time I pass by Ayres I smile and think of that night, the mischievousness,  the fear, the accomplishment, the view.  I was on top of the world, and after that I knew I had come to UT for a reason, if only for staring my fear straight in the face and conquering it.  Of course, I met the love of my life here, and I wouldn’t trade him for anything, but I feel like somewhere down the road we would have met anyway.

Since that night, I’ve been thinking a lot about the person I was when I graduated from high school.  I’m not the same person.  She would have never done anything like that; she was too timid and never did anything wrong.  The person I am today knows that life isn’t worth living if you can’t take risks, but knowing which risks to take is half the battle.  Some rules are meant to be broken.

But, sometimes in life, you need to go back home to get in touch with your roots, know where you came from and never forget it.  Remember the morals and beliefs you were raised with, because they are your foundation.  My brother once described my mother in one word: port.  She sends us off into the world, however, she’s always the place we go back to for stability.  For me, she’s the lighthouse.  She warns me of dangers nearby, but gives me a light to follow to come back home.  She’s my stability, my rock, my foundation.

Mom, I love you.  Always.

I am no one but a penniless individual seeking anything to get me away from here.

Tonight I am feeling very Holly Golightly… for those of you that don’t know who that is, Holly Golightly is the free-spirited character played by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  It’s one of my all-time favorite movies. Ever.  Even better than Devil Wears Prada.

In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly is a young, single woman living in New York, partying every night with different men from just about any financial background—but she has her eyes set on the richest single men under 50 in the world.

Now, I’m not so swingin’ like Holly… we share another characteristic.

She doesn’t like to be tied down.  She doesn’t like being anyone’s possession, property or princess.  She is a wild bird, flying free; she shares more things in common with her cat named Cat than anyone else.

I don’t like to be tied down.  I don’t like being anyone’s possession, property or princess.  I am an individual, a free-spirited bird that cannot be restrained.  Sometimes I feel like I share more things in common with Holly Golightly than anyone else.

Moon River,
Wider than a mile,
I’m crossing you in style, someday.
Oh dream maker,
You heart breaker
Wherever you’re goin’, I’m goin’ your way

Two drifters,
Off to see the world
There’s such a lot of world to see.
We’re after the same rainbow’s
end, waitin’ ’round the bend
My Huckleberry friend
Moon River, and me…

I believe the final scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s sums up everything.

Howdy folks, long time no post… mainly because I honestly haven’t had the time to keep up with it… but now, late at night, I’ve decided to finally give way to my conscience and write a new post.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my blog lately, realized that I need to step up my game a bit and find my niche (which I haven’t yet, still working on that minor detail), but now that I think about it, life in general is a pretty big niche, don’t you think?

And since my blog’s title is in fact “Life in Slow Motion,” (emphasis on the slow part) why not just blog about life’s happenings, changes and issues?

So be it.  My blog is simply about life… life and its journey… because I of all people should know how much can change in a short amount of time.

This time last year, as some may recall, I was in a slump.  Last Thanksgiving was simply hell for my family and I as I dealt with a serious break-up (that you can read about to your heart’s content here, although it’s completely one-sided), and last Christmas was even worse thanks to me… well… getting serious with a guy that wasn’t in my family’s religion.

And that’s a huge deal with my family.

So you can imagine how well that went over… “You need some time for just you, you don’t need to date, you don’t need to date him,” etc.  And, I’ll give my family credit.  They were probably right, I did need time from guys.  But I’m stubborn and strong minded, and therefore I ignored them completely, which resulted in a HUGE blowup from me… It wasn’t too pretty.

Looking back on all that now, I realize that true love doesn’t always come easily, and that some things really are worth fighting for.

This Christmas, the man I fought so hard to have, so hard to have approval from my family, proposed to me.  And I said, “Yes,” after a long pause to take it all in.  Thanks to my brother, Brad Moore, it was caught on video for all you lovelies to watch it here.

Since then, I’ve been obsessing over Annie Little’s “Fly Me Away.” You may have heard it on the Amazon Kindle commercial this year.  I love it 🙂

But really though, I’m going to be a married woman this time next year.  Can you believe it???  Me, married at 21.  Holy crap, can you say reality check?

No more depending on parents.
I have to file my own taxes (ugh).
Find a REAL job (no internships, mall jobs. Crap).
Somehow get medical insurance (yeah, good luck with that).
Car payments, rent, furniture…

OH!  And graduate the spring AFTER I’m married… so that means I’ll still be in school… At least I have a semester until the real world smacks me in the face, right?

God wouldn’t give me anything I couldn’t handle.  Perhaps He’d give me something to straighten me out, teach me a lesson, build some character, but nothing I couldn’t handle.

I totally got this one.  I have a year!  Easy schmeasy.  Once I buy that dress, it’s all down-hill from there, right?
(By the way, anyone that knows of any venues in the Franklin/Nashville area or Knoxville, let me know!)

*Hopefully* December 18, 2010 will be the first day of the rest of my life with Rob Williams.  I hope to have an evening wedding, low-lit chapel with Christmas lights… cool silver-blue and white peonies accent the dresses… me walking down the aisle in a dreamy white (or ivory) form-fitting dress that lets out in organza below the hips, adorned in crystals… walking down the aisle to meet a man with a look of pure joy coming from his eyes, happiness walking—no, sprinting—across his face as his smile lights up the room.  He’ll hardly be able to stand there to wait for me to meet him at the altar… he may run to meet me in the middle…

Fly me away… take me away with you my love

Yesterday morning I had to do one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life…

I drove for 3 hours 200 miles in the opposite direction my heart wanted to go in.  It was the single most painful thing I’ve ever done…but I’m sure it won’t be the last.

If anyone has ever been in a long-distance relationship, I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about.  It was all I could do to keep the car heading where I knew I had to go…all I wanted to do was turn the car around, drive back to his house and jump back into his strong, secure arms.

But, this is all part of growing up, and I have to be a big girl now and deal with it.

Right now, I’m dealing with it by listening to his Goo Goo Dolls Greatest Hits CD and crying like a freakin’ baby typing this thing up.

Hold on, before it’s too late, we’ll run til we leave this behind…
Stand on the edge with me, hold back your fear and see nothing is real til it’s gone.

Chatting on Facebook one night I expressed to him worries that I shouldn’t even be worrying about, sticking true to my nature of course.  He told me something that night that I’ve been clinging onto for comfort and to serve as a reminder to me…

Come back down to earth with me.
It’s all going to be all right.

God knows I needed to hear that.  He hates when I can’t stand to be away from him…but it just takes me a few days to adjust.  At least this time it’s easier; I’m getting used to the fact that Knoxville isn’t his home right now.

I guess now would be a good time to tell our story, from my perspective at least…I wish I could tell it from his point of view—he’s a much better story-teller than I am.

It all started last November when I ended my 2 year relationship with a previous boyfriend.  Rob and I were in the same French class, and we had chatted a few times after class and on Facebook, so we were decently good friends before we dated.

One night I invited him over to work on homework and bake cookies… according to him, we “found each other the sweeter sight.”  He’s right.

Our first kiss happened that night, too.  We were sitting on the couch, and having finished our hot chocolate and pumpkin cookies long ago, continued our conversation that started as soon as he walked in and my guard was down.  I was hugging a pillow close to me, and he noticed that I was doing so.  He was quite the smooth operator, leaned over to me and said he usually cuddles with people.  I, being the innocent naive one, allowed him to take the pillow from me and put his arm around me.  We started holding hands as our heads continuously got closer, and then we looked up at each other.

He kissed me, and my feet haven’t touched the floor since.

Oh, that man… I’m telling you it scares me…it scares me to death.  I can’t think of anyone else that I’ve been so attached to, where the moment we part for a long time I feel like a part of me is missing, where as soon as I see his face my heart skips a beat…

I’d give up forever to touch you, because I know that you feel me somehow.
You’re the closest to Heaven that I’ll ever be, and I don’t want to go home right now.
I just don’t want to miss you tonight…

It hurts.  I’m not going to lie…but I think it’ll make me a stronger person.  I never knew what it felt like for my roommate to do the same thing I had to do, but for an entire year.  At least he’ll be back in August.  If I can last that long, then I think I’ll be OK.

So, on this lazy Saturday morn…erm… afternoon I’ve decided to dedicate this post to someone rather special to me…

Oh, here she goes, getting all mushy and crap again…

OK, so that first line was a bit cliche… sorry.  Anyways, I think Rob Williams has a lot of potential as a fiction/sci-fi writer, but that’s not what I’m posting today.  Today, I’m posting some poems he wrote for me because I really wanted to share them with you.  🙂  I’m just going to start copying and pasting… now.  (Check out his Deviant Art page here for fan fic, too)

Love You for Forever

Girl, I cant believe we got into this mess
it was just you and me
in my brown coat,
in your black dress.

So come hold me and kiss me, baby
take me back to when we had drinks in our hands,
we said
“yes, no, OK”.

Ive been trying to figure out what happened to us
how this all went to hell
were we in love
or was it only lust?

It’s killing us, to be together.
So just what can I do,
I won’t lose you for forever.

I love you. Yes, I love you
I’ll love you for forever.

I can’t stand it, the pain I’ve put you through
you left him
I stepped in
and now I’m stuck on like glue.

We got it wrong, went too fast
now we’re in too deep
just crawling our way
back into the past.

I’ll be here for you no matter what the cost
even It’s killing me now
we can start anew
not all is lost.

It’s killing us, to be together.
So just what can I do,
I won’t lose you for forever.

I love you. Yes, I love you
I’ll love you for forever.

Please baby don’t leave me here alone
I’m asking you
and begging you
don’t put down the phone.

I know you’re in your car
waiting in the rain,
trying to remember
just who you are.

But listen to me,
don’t give up the fight,
hang on
cause I’ll save both you and me.

It’s killing us, to be together.
So just what can I do,
I won’t lose you for forever.

I love you. Yes, I love you
I’ll love you for forever.

Just My Love

Hey, just a minute my dear
there’s something, I want you to hear
This thing is getting frightening
it’s struck me hard like lightning
But don’t panic, don’t you worry
cause we’re together and there’s no hurry

It’s just love, girl
nothing but love, girl
my mind goes in a whirl
when I think of you, girl

You know soon everyone will see
and they’ll have to just let us be
The world will marvel at our charm
when we dance, you in my arms
I’ll pull you in for the kiss
babe, you know there’s nothing as great as this

It’s just love girl
nothing but love girl
my mind goes in a whirl
when I think of you girl

I can’t describe to you nice
it feels to me, my mind and body melted like ice
I don’t what I was before
but now it’s clear to me, I’m something more
I’m not afraid anymore, I’m just fine
cause you are there for me, my baby, mine

It’s just love girl
nothing but love girl
my mind goes in a whirl
when I think of you girl

Another World

Do you remember babe, it was after nine
I came over to chat
and then we lost track of time

It’s really funny, looking back to that night
you and I were baking cookies
but found each other the sweeter sight

We also had to do some homework
but I forgot about my back
when you gave me that little smirk

There wasn’t any thought to it
just you and me
you put me on like a perfect fit

I can’t explain the feelings I felt
the sight I saw
when your blues eyes made me melt

I started to wonder was I still alive
you’re too beautiful
could it have been a dream, a lie?

If I had tried, I couldn’t have let go
you grabbed my hand
entranced me, mesmerized me so

We talked for hours about everything
about life, religion, love
some how you just made my heart sing

For that night, my spirit was in whirl
we were in heaven, in space
we were visiting another world

No babe, I won’t forget the time or the place
when I lost all myself
inside your pretty little face

I’ll Dream of Helen

Girl there is this feeling I get when I think of you
I try to get by, go on, but its still rolling through
There’s this strong hunger in me that I can’t seem to feed
my parents, my brother, my dog wonder what I need

I know what I want, I know what I need
she’s the prettiest little blonde
eyes the bluest you’ll ever see
She makes me feel strong, she makes me feel weak
I can’t do a thing without her
even talk to her in my dreams

I’ve tried to get her off my mind and get back to work
but no matter what I do, all I see is her smirk
and when I’m driving down the road, I can hear her voice
and all the radio in the world, she’s my first choice

I know what I want, I know what I need
she’s the prettiest little blonde
eyes the bluest you’ll ever see
She makes me feel strong, she makes me feel weak
I can’t do a thing without her
even talk to her in my dreams

So she called me up to day, I was so ecstatic
said she had to see me soon, she was so emphatic
you know you’re special when you make someone jump for joy
especially when she’s the type they fought for in Troy

I know what I want, I know what I need
she’s the prettiest little blonde
eyes the bluest you’ll ever see
She makes me feel strong, she makes me feel weak
I can’t do a thing without her
even talk to her in my dreams

She is my princess, my darling angel, yes it’s true
she filled my body with a passion I never knew
it’s so strange but before this I don’t know who we were
feels like I’m running in circles, til I can see her

I know what I want, I know what I need
she’s the prettiest little blonde
eyes the bluest you’ll ever see
She makes me feel strong, she makes me feel weak
I can’t do a thing without her
even talk to her in my dreams

So I’ll go home tonight and wrap in up in covers
and I think about how someday we’ll be great lovers
Hel, you stole something that I only share with a few
it’s my only heart, and when I sleep, I’ll dream of you!

Same Old

We never thought it could happen
but time has flown by and it’s getting old
We can feel the mystery is gone
and all the little puzzles have been solved.
Yet I’m still here thinking about you;
you’re still thinking about me.
I know they said it wouldn’t last;
that spark between us would burn out.
But I realize there’s still more to do.
I’ve been thinking of you today.
You know getting you was so hard,
but that was merely half the battle.
Honey, I’m staying until the end.
I believe we can make this happen,
since honey, I’ll always love you!

Isn’t he just amazing?!  I think so, too 😉

It’s true.  The saggy pants bill (love the puns in the headline) will fine anyone caught with their pants down, revealing their boxers, briefs, thongs, or should some dare to go commando, derrieres.

Honestly I think someone should’ve done something about mullets, but that’s another day.

Absolutely cracks me up… no pun intended.  For once Tennessee is taking fashion seriously, however, I believe the government has some more important issues to worry about.

Butt out, legislature!  Seriously, aren’t there other more important issues to tighten up and fix besides low-riders?

Oh, but on to more important news… I saw this via Twitter, and mark my words, it will eventually get to the boondocks of East Tennessee.  Perhaps we finally have the upper-hand on the fashion world!  I would like to see the legislature take a stab at covering THAT underwear up.

No, seriously though, since when has the state of Tennessee gave a crap about fashion?  I mean, yeah, it’s disrespectful sometimes and very distracting to others when someone’s red-hot flashy underwear shines above their Calvin Klein‘s, and it’s even more disgusting to see a piece of thread pulled a tad too high, but seriously?

Aren’t there more important issues to deal with like the economy’s effects on University of Tennessee budget cuts, drugs and violence?  Whatever happened to freedom of expression?  I mean, if I remember history correctly, I believe there’s that bit called the Bill of Rights in the Constitution somewhere, no?

At least they’re trying to protect the state’s integrity… but honestly I think it’s backfiring.  Get your priorities straight.

That’s all for tonight.  I might post some new links for kicks tomorrow when the new Metro Pulse is available.

Peace out.

So lately I haven’t had much of a drive to do anything that I used to do.  Before Thanksgiving, I seriously kicked major bootay.  After Thanksgiving, I realized something that I hated (and still hate) about myself:  I depend on those twirpy little twats that have testosterone pumping through their veins, otherwise known as the male species.

Hello.  My name is Brittney Moore, and I have a problem… I am addicted to guys.

Now wait a second, I don’t want to send out the wrong message — I am in no way a whore.  Nope, nada, no way sir.  I stick to one man at a time and am quite the loyal girlfriend.  All I’m saying is that I never had the chance to adapt to that mystery called the single life, and I take all the blame for it.

It was my mistake… but my favorite one at that.

Do you hear Sheryl Crow in the background now?  I do… “You’re my favorite mistaaake…”

Cool beans.  First step done, now to do something about it.

There is no way that I would trade my amazing man for anyone else in this world, please understand that.  In fact, I give him full credit in almost single-handedly helping me realize my fear of being alone, or at least taking it head-on to get over it (thank God that he’s a psychology major, right?).  Just by being half a state away from me during the summer was something huge that I had to get over.

But I’m finally getting over the fact that he’s at home, and I’m stuck here… without him.

Oh cry me a river… oh, wait, I already did…

Something hit me in the face this evening when I was talking to my mom about all of this.  I realized that I didn’t have my drive anymore; nothing seemed to matter to me no matter how much of an impact it had on my life.  I didn’t care about class, work or even my own health.  I had lost that drive to stay on top and ahead of the game slowly over the course of one year… It’s amazing how much drama a few people can cause.

But, I’m over it.  I’m done, and I’m climbing back on top.  I’ve got my to-do list for the summer… and hopefully I’ll stick to it for the rest of my life.  It goes something like this:

  1. Get confidence/self-esteem back.
  2. Reach 120-130 lbs.
  3. Gain back my muscles!
  4. Figure out my major (journalism vs. graphic design)
  5. Run two miles (or three) straight.
  6. Learn to live without a guy… or at least stop being so needy for one’s attention.
  7. Go to eating all-natural/raw foods.
  8. Go without wearing make-up for a week (I know, it might have an effect on #1 but it saves time in the morning!).
  9. Learn to ride a bike in traffic.
  10. Get tan (I’m white as a ghost, dearies.).
  11. Take a fitness class (I’m feeling yoga, kickboxing, pilates, cycling…)
  12. De-stress my poor little self!

Seem reasonable?  I think so, too.  Plus, I hear guys dig self-confident women. Rawr.

I am climbing back on top.  The butt-kicking me is back, baby, and as fierce as ever!

It always seems that my life plays out like a never-ending romance comedy, you know, like the ones Drew Barrymore always play in—at least I’d like to think it does.  Perhaps I’m too dramatic.

Why is it that when we let go of something, or try to, rather, we can’t seem to truly and honestly completely let go of it… especially if that something used to be a huge part of us?

What if that something isn’t a “thing,” at all, but a person?

It just seems that lately a lot of my time has been spent trying to maintain friendships with everyone around me before we all move our separate directions when the semester ends.  It seems that something keeps haunting me…

…those little, “What if?” questions seem to always flutter around in my mind.

No, I have no regret nor will I ever for how I’ve lived my life.  Sure, I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I don’t regret them.  Mistakes are just tender learning moments in our lives that we can look back on and hope to God that our children and grandchildren (and great grandchildren if we live that long) will never find out about them.  We find elderly people to be wise for a reason—has your grandparent ever once told you about getting drunk that one night or totaling their first car?  Not unless they’re teaching you something, and they need credibility to prove that they know what they’re talking about.

But then, those little “What if?” thoughts in my mind go away when I’m comfortable with myself and accept things for the way they are.  I know things will never be the way they used to be, and I’m OK with that.  Really, I am.  Some things are meant to be, and others are like fireworks; they quickly fly up in a spectacle in the sky, light up for a short while, then gradually dim and fall back to the Earth as we all watch from below.

Some things become nostalgic memories we’re fond to look back on and cherish, but we know that our lives can never be the same again.

You know that old saying, “The other side of the tracks?”  If not, it’s kind of like saying “The grass is always greener on the other side.”  It’s pretty much along those same lines.

Anyways, I saw first-hand in my backyard that it’s literally true:  sometimes depending on what side of the tracks you live on can make a world of difference.

Right now, a portion of Interstate 40 running through Knoxville (conveniently located next to the exit I take to go home) is going through Hell and back, otherwise known as “Smart Fix 40.” (Might I add that someone changed the name a bit… it’s a tad vulgar to put on here, but it’s a play on another word beginning with “f.” Let your imaginations run wild with that one.)  The locals, i.e. myself, absolutely love construction around here… especially when you take the wrong exit and end up in the ghetto side of town.

I’ve done this twice.  I hate road construction, traffic, and basically any obstruction that lies in my path.  I’m a fast driver, I speed, and I like to get places as efficiently as possible.  In other words (but some might disagree) I’m a smart driver.  My brother once told me that there’s a difference between being a smart driver and a careful driver.  This, I’ve witnessed, has truth to it.  Hesitation kills, people.

So, when I took the wrong exit my mistake put me in a sketchy, shady, ghetto part of town.  At first, I was a bit scared—I’m a young white female driving alone in her probably-not-so-hard-to-break-into car—but after realizing that most of the people living there wouldn’t harm me, I didn’t feel so scared anymore.  Instead, I felt sadness rush over me.

There are so many homeless people right across the tracks from me, and I do nothing to help them.  Instead, I complain that I don’t have enough money for all the luxuries I want to afford, but I’m fine.  I have parents that help me out, friends to confide in, food to keep me more than satisfied, stylish clothes to wear, shelter over my head and a car to get me places I need to go.

They have nothing.  If they have anything at all, it’s perseverance.  I’ve never had the opportunity to test mine—I mean really, really to truly test my perseverance.  Quite honestly, I have high respects for them because I know they’re stronger people than I could ever be.

My whole life I’ve been pampered.  Everything has been provided for me on a silver platter.  It’s all been so easy so far in my life, but I know a time will come when I won’t have my parents or friends to help me out… and I’ll be on my own.  Then, my perserverance and strength will be tested.

Sometimes the not-so-green grass on the other side of the tracks can teach us something about life; it can make us realize what the most important things in life truly are.