(Baby Ashley... Blonde hair and a big ol' belly)
In life, the fall is the beginning of living our life on our own. Not that we no longer need the love and support from our families but we have received all we can from them up to that point and the rest is up to us. We too don't fall far from the tree.
I stayed close to home for some of my own reasons and for many unknown reasons. I was scared of the fall. I loved the comfort of my mom, David, and Dee being so close. They had been my main line of support for the past 18 years, along with my friends, and I just wasn't ready to leave them yet.
College was my first initial move from the my "comfort zone" or roots. I had always had the same group of friends and we experienced many triumphs and tragedies together. It was hard to put myself out there and make new friends. In comparison with the pecan, when some of them fall, they are the beautiful pecans that we crack and eat, while others still have a thick, dark shell, providing them a little more time to develop and ripen before they are picked. I was a late developer, a hider. I, like a lot of you, have been through and experienced loss, first when loosing my dad, and then later one of my best friends since before I can remember. I truly felt like I lost who I was but then later found a better, more positive, caring, loving person than before. I cherished things just a little bit more and loved life more than possible. I walked away with the knowledge that life is short, and we have to love hard and deep while we can. It goes by so quickly.
I learned more about myself that first year of college than I ever thought possible... Mostly through the late night conversations with my sisters or mom and dee. As each day passes, the pecan continues to adjust to life off of the tree, either by being picked or by slowly loosing that protective extra shell. As college continued, so did my growth as a person. I met some great friends, made a lot of memories, and slowly became more of myself again. Although I'm still not sure why exactly I stayed in town, because of that choice, my life forever changed by the people that I met, both through my sorority and the education department. If I hadn't made that choice, I wouldn't be where I am today, teaching my little friends who forever changed my life, have the friends I have, or be married to my wonderful husband who I couldn't imagine life without. Life has a funny way of working out that way. But that will all come later in "THE PICK".
Which leads me to my favorite part...THE PICK and my life today as I know it. Ill be back to tell you all about it tomorrow but here is a quote to leave you with. It is one that I love to live by.
Most people can look back over the years and identify a time and place at which their lives changed significantly. Whether by accident or design, these are the moments when, because of a readiness within us and a collaboration with events occurring around us, we are forced to seriously reappraise ourselves and the conditions under which we live and to make certain choices that will affect the rest of our lives.
- Frederick F. Flack
- Frederick F. Flack