I'd Rather Be Anonymous Than A Celebrity In My Hometown

I'd Rather Be Anonymous Somewhere Else Than A Celebrity In My Hometown

I'm grateful for my upbringing, but I'm also excited to see what else is out there.


Since I was a little girl my life has revolved around Friday night football games, nights out at the local pizza joint and a constant expectation to worship and respect the family name hierarchy that surrounds the school systems, businesses and social events of my hometown. My kindergarten classmates sat beside me at graduation and my biology teacher taught my dad chemistry when he went to my high school in 1986.

Waffle House is considered a night out and there's always a wait at the nail salon because there's only one in town. If you're feeling adventurous, you have two options. You're more than welcome to hit up one of the various Mexican restaurants spread out across town. Or, if you have absolutely nothing to do, you may even hop down the road thirty miles and see what the real world has to offer.

Now, anyone from a small town can you tell that there are days where the absence of traffic, crime and loitering outweighs the convenience of shopping centers, movie theaters, and social opportunities. However, coming from a girl who has spent nearly her entire life in the sheltered small town of Jefferson, Georgia I would like to argue the latter for just a minute.

With any small town comes the potential for a power struggle, and unfortunately the town I call home suffers the worst from it.

It is human nature to work to develop a sense of power and control. Small towns are breeding places for this phenomenon, and this influences the rest of the community through school systems, job opportunities, and relationships. The same family name that is prominent today was also prominent ten years ago and will remain prominent ten years from now.

For some reason or another, someone with this last name is making decisions about things that don't seem to correlate with their expertise and these decisions are affecting the city's student body, as well as the entirety of the "new name" and "old name" communities.

Not only is this unhealthy, it's unfair to everyone in the younger generations. We didn't ask for this.

It's the elephant in the room in any sporting event, board meeting, missed opportunity, or unfair outcome. Nobody wants to be the person that identifies the "old name" power complex, but the majority wish there was a way to reverse it or equalize it. The truth is the opinions of various upbringings, or in a plainer sense, differing last names, are not only necessary but essential in a world where opportunity is abundant and change is crucial in order to evolve.

My last name didn't seem to make the cut for importance, and I'm OK with it.

Trust me, I am more than thankful for all the experiences that came with living in my small town, and I wouldn't change it for anything because without it I would not have developed this understanding. Sure, my parents did not choose to spend their money funding the booster club, and my parents' jobs didn't always allow them to be "team mom" of our recreation team. My last name likely faded from the memory of my high school as soon as I was handed my diploma, but I have bigger and better things to do and places to go.

A hometown is what the name says, a home.

However, I am not satisfied accepting that truly living is idolizing the children on the field on Friday Night and anticipating who the next homecoming queen will be. My small town will always be a place I once called home, but it certainly doesn't have to be my home forever. To constrain me to the safety and simplicity of this town would be tragic.

I know one day I will bring my kids by the local pizza joint and we'll order a large pepperoni pizza with a 12 count garlic knots. As the kids fight over who called dibs on the last slice, I'll overhear a conversation from the booth next to ours about how good of a game the dragons played that night and how little Jonny is really gonna be a football prodigy one day. I'll start to wonder what ever happened to that boy they used to go on and on about when I was in school. He'll walk in hand and hand with little Jonny and I'll smile and roll my eyes, reminded that some things never change.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.

When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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Why You Should Bring Your Close Friend As Your Formal Date

Before asking that cute girl to formal think about asking a friend


Every year since I was a junior in high school I have always looked forward to homecoming or prom. When I got to college I began to look forward to my fraternity formal. I was never concerned with what to wear or the expense of formal but rather who I was going to ask. It can be difficult to make a decision. If you ask anyone friends with me they will tell you how I am one of the most indecisive people out there. There are so many people I am friendly with or have a close relationship that it can feel difficult to make a decision. But let's look at that phrase again. You might think why does he want to bring someone who is his friend to his fraternity formal rather than someone he likes or is dating. To answer this question, some of the girls I have liked I have not been able to be the true me around and that also applies to the girls I have dated as well. I am different around my friends and I want someone to know the real me rather than me just having to pretend.

Maybe I am still experiencing the effects of a fun weekend but I have noticed that every formal or prom that I have brought a date with not only was a fun formal but interacted and connected well with my friends. That is the main thing I look for in a formal date, they need to be liked by my friends and many of them are still pretty friendly after the formal. You are spending the weekend with them and the drive down for you formal. There will be a lot of time spent with your date so it is important to bring someone you know you will have fun with. I am not saying that there isn't anything wrong with bringing someone else but I always found it best to bring a friend if you are not dating someone.

Think about the people you know you will always have fun with. This can be an indication of who you should bring and why but you should also think about the positives in this situation. Your fun and the time spent with the people should be prioritized before anything else. This event is about you and you should have someone with you that you know is fun to be around and someone you can enjoy yourself around along with your friends. Friends know you as well as you know yourself so there is not an idea of having to pretend to be someone else. The good thing about friends is that you do not run out of things to talk about and there is always something new to learn. Take your formal as a trip that you get to experience with the people closest to you. That is my take.

The key for me is to know that I will have fun with my date at formal. The drive to formal can be long and you are sharing a hotel room with your date along with spending time with them during the trip. I talk a lot. I want someone I know who I can carry a conversation with and will not just respond with words such as Yeah or Sounds good. I have always been able to remember not only my formals but specific parts of it as well. I think this is possible because of who I have brought and the memories I made with them.

Formals are important to everyone so think about who you want to spend that moment with. There is nothing wrong with bringing someone who you like but there also is nothing wrong with bringing a friend. Some people might bring someone they are dating but you should not have to compare yourself to other people. Do what makes you happy but remember this weekend is about you and you deserve to bring someone you will have fun with.

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