flying east

On Friday I'm heading my motherland, the beautiful graveyard of mill industry, Whitinsville Massachusetts. Which isn't a town, but a town within a town. A non-town of just over 6,000 people. Where I spent the better (or worse) part of 6th grade, and lived until high school graduation. Like most small towns I didn't see it for what it was until I left it 10 years and 3,000 miles in the past.

That's not quite true. I lived enough places before landing in Whitinsville to recognize it for what it was. Something out of a book. A cliche, almost. I actually used to dream that I would travel the whole United States, eating in small town diners and interviewing the locals. I would compile all these story clips into book. For what purpose? I'm not sure. I suppose to show that these little towns exist. What can I say, I grew up listening to a lot of Garrison Keillor.

The plan was always to be passing through these little towns, that much I knew. And every other week I had another dream for my adult self. Marine biologist, poet, botanist, actress, novelist, photographer...I imagined adulthood as having all the time to explore the things that really interest you. Turns out that's actually childhood.

Unless, I think, you're dedicated to keeping curiosity alive. Exploration, always wanting to dive into a topic of interest even if it doesn't hold a 'measurable' reward (like a line on your resume or promotion). To exhaust your curiosity just for the sake of it, and to find a career/partner/life that allows and encourages you to do so.

I won't say people are "lucky enough" to find a career or path that allows them to get their hands all over the subjects that make them tick. They actively carve that path, perhaps without thinking about the end result, so it looks like luck. But they stay the course by remaining true to a bigger self. Or a younger self.

The path back to my home, is the path I took out. My body was always running and my mind was always writing, telling a story, and following the ones that spoke to me. It's really as simple as that. But of course not really, really. ;)

I'm excited to get back to New England and to meet new friends face to face that I've been connected to through Oiselle and running. To visit running stores where I used to buy my track spikes and show them the new Oiselle line, that I am so proud of you'd think I sewed it all myself. And to see my family. To run along the loops I've run for years, through all the reincarnations of my running self.

Comments

  1. Welcome to New England! Do you have any plans to visit stores in Southern NH? I would love to see oiselle around here!

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  2. Nice post. I grew up in a really small town in TN. I was on the fast train out of there in my early 20s to make something more of the excitement I wanted out of life. Now when I go back - it's really nice to just take in all the things that I used to loathe - like the distance to drive into a "civilized city" 30 miles away, or the smell of cow crap in the morning. Seriously.

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  3. Love it Mac attack! Sounds like a trip down memory lane. Any lady that can survive the Holiday season without flying back to see family deserves a January trip to make up for it. We'll miss ya :)

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  4. Love your writing Mac! Makes me want to go with you. :) Have a great time: you deserve it.

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  5. Such a small world! My father-in-law is from Whitinsville and we go there every so often to visit my husband's family. And we've eaten at Peg's Diner!!!

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