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Small Town Charm

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I heard someone say, “Life is not worth living if you don’t have something worth dying for.” I really don’t know if I agree or disagree with this statement but it really struck me. It’s in the back of my mind every day and keeps me asking myself, “What is it that I am passionate about? What makes me want to wake up in the morning?” It’s pretty heavy stuff if you ask me.

As I think about what my answer could possibly be, I look around- at the people I’m surrounded by, the things I see out the car window and the changes the sky makes at night. This past Friday was the biggest parade my small town has to offer and I finally got to see it. I’ve always been off at a soccer tournament and this was my first year home to see it. My neighbor rode his longhorn in the parade, the high school football team had their own float, and my dream of being the Luling Watermelon Thump Queen only grew when I saw her float. Green, red, and white sparkles seem to appeal to me for some reason. The whole town stood and cheered when our local troops just home from Afghanistan and Iraq drove by, and of course, what would a small town parade be without old tractors?

Watching all of this and absorbing the charm and pride of a small town made me realize that this is what makes me want to wake up every morning. It’s the people in this world and the stories they have to share. It’s my divorced parents who still sit next to me at a parade because they love me and don’t want their differences to affect the way we live. It’s my older sister who, no matter how much we annoy each other, comes home on the weekends just to see me and have dinner as a family. It’s the cow that lives next door and the dream that one day I will be on a big sparkly float with a tiara bigger than my head.

What I am passionate about is the world. I’m beginning to discover all of these little things that make life worth living and, to be honest, it’s a bit overwhelming. All of those lectures my parents have given me for the past 19 years are finally starting to make sense. I think I’m actually discovering who I am and who I want to be and it’s because I’m learning something from every person I see.

Maybe it’s a stretch to say that life isn’t worth living if you have nothing worth dying for. It’s all a matter of opinion. I do think that being passionate about something, or having passion for something, makes the hard days easier. For anyone who may be struggling or at a hard place in their lives, look around. Sit on a bench and just watch. There is so much to see and learn every day. There are stories out there being told but we never slow down enough to listen. It’s like what they tell you in first grade before you cross the street- Stop. Look. And Listen. You never know what you might discover.