I went to New York over the weekend to watch Federer beat Monfils and hang out with my hilarious and awesome friend Elysia. It reminded me how much I love New York City, but also, because I grew up with Elysia in Richmond, how much I used to yearn to "get out."
In all of my aw-shucks-ma'am pastoral lionizing and country-living nostalgia, I often forget that when I was a 17-year-old in Goochland County, Virginia, I used to ride my horse down to the railroad tracks that hug the James River and look up and down them, wondering when the day would come that I would get to leave.
I'm out now and busy looking back, and I don't think it's such a bad thing to remember what a hurry I was once in to get out into the world. Otherwise, I think I'm at risk of falling into that nauseating trap so many of us country kids have to romanticize our childhoods at the expense of reality.
(Less romantically: This particular set of railroad tracks is in Charlottesville, just behind the Corner. We used to jump them to get from GrandMarc over to Coupe's. I hear they will soon be fencing them off and this antiseptic, overly-safe move makes me sad for the delightfully foolish futures of other dumb UVA kids. Here is Michelle on a summer Sunday in C'ville, looking like she's wistfully negotiating the moments of our past, but probably looking for the spot we once took a black-out selfie of ourselves throwing up hook-'em horns after a boozy 20th birthday party.)