I may have stolen that from "Parks and Rec."
This past week I’ve had this same conversation with about seven different people: “Ormond Beach is great. Everyone should live here.”
That, or some variation, seems to be the resounding vibe that we’re sending out into the world. Maybe it's the chaos happening everywhere else that's making us very appreciative of what we have — or maybe it’s just something in the water. Either way, I’d argue most of the people who live in Ormond, want to live in Ormond.
As a few of you may know, I'm not from here (cue gasps). I was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and moved around so much that I often told people the Blackwoods were “movers, not stayers.” My case of FOMO (fear of missing out) started very, very young.
When I was about 9 years old, we landed in Debary, where I did most of my growing up. It’s not a terrible place, but something about it never made me like I belonged there. The itch to go somewhere prettier and new kept me looking ahead and hardly ever paying attention to the present.
I also had a serious case of “head in the clouds” syndrome. Apparently it’s very common among teenagers.
That mindset made it nearly impossible for me to be content. I spent what felt like forever bouncing around to different apartments and cities always believing that the next one would be the great adventure I’d been waiting for.
Let’s just say, it eventually got old and I wanted to go home.
When I did finally return to Debary, I didn’t get that feeling that I thought I’d have. Everything was the same, including that sense that I wasn’t meant to be there. A girl who was always itching to get out of town, was trying to find somewhere where to stay.
After I graduated college, I was left trying to pick between two equally terrifying jobs: an editor of a paper in the middle-of-nowhere Wyoming, and a writer for a news service in Alaska, where the only living option available was on a tugboat I'd have to clean. So when Managing Editor Brian McMillan called me for an interview with the Ormond Beach Observer, I immiediately thought to myself: "Yes. This is it." And thank god I was right.
I've been living in Ormond for two years now and I feel like I can finally say that I’m home.
This town and the people who live in it make it so that I love getting out and going places, and when I do get the itch to leave town, I always want to come back.
And I’m not alone. Pretty much everyone from my old hometown that’s visited has told me how much they love Ormond and how nice the people are. One of them was so impressed, that she moved here a few weeks ago (I should get recognition of that, right?)
I've lived in cities big and small, and I can tell you for a fact that home is a rare feeling. It takes the right amount of effort, time and gueinine people. Thankfully I've found all three of those necessary elements within our city limits.
This is my home. This is where I've become the person that I dreamt of being when I was just a little girl with too many notebooks and a lot of questions. This is where I’ve met some of the best friends I’ve ever had that opened their arms to me without any hesitation. This is where I’ve found both of my fur babies who taught me that I can totally take care of things without killing them (except plants).
Also I'm totally not crying right now.
So before you complain about your neighbors being to close or seeing everyone and their mother at the grocery store, think about what life would be like if you lived in a town where nobody knew you.
Because personally, I think that’d be way too boring.