small town love.

murray, ky.  heard of it?  there is a good chance that you haven’t. especially if you don’t live in the state of Kentucky.

this small town of 20,000 that’s nestled on the west side of the state, on top of the Tennessee border, has become one of my favorite places to be.

KYMap-doton-Murray

there are no 5 star restaurants, there is no awesome man made skyline, no beaches, no major historic monuments no real tourist attractions, but it’s a home. and it became my home away from home very quickly when i made the commitment to play soccer for Murray State University.

the nearest mall is 45 minutes away, the bars close at midnight, and when i was living there, no alcohol could be purchased within the county lines.  it’s as country as country gets, and the ad below is evidence of that… so it sounds like an exciting place to go to school, right?

MurrayStateMigrate

you may be thinking that this sounds like a college kids worst nightmare.

i will admit, murray was last on my list when i began looking at schools.  both of my parents went to school there, and i grew up going to homecomings and visiting my grandmother in that town.  i loved the quick trips, but as a 16 year old, i didn’t want to move to a tiny town to have my college experience.

i wanted something big, bold, exciting, and i wanted to get as far away from kentucky as possible.

but when i decided to play soccer at the collegiate level and i began to visit schools that were interested in me joining their team, i couldn’t get my trip to murray out of my head.  i knew the town very well, but there was something about the girls on the team and the energy on campus that drew me in.

i left that visit with a feeling that msu was where i belonged.  and i have felt that sense of belonging ever since that weekend in 2004.

and as for the college kids’ worst nightmare? the many students that have attended murray state will respond with, “we found our own fun.”

and that we did.  whether it was in the form of pranks, delirious trips to walmart, or late night dance parties…we definitely had our fill of entertainment. and it was always in ridiculous and unique ways.

and i believe that is why so many of us while in murray become so attached to the things and the people of that town. you have no choice, but in a good way, to enjoy the people around you.

we fall in love with the simplicity of it all. like the fact that March 1st is an exciting holiday, because that’s when the locally owned and operated Dairy Queen opens. there is a literally a line down main street where this walk up, tiny establishment sits.

DQ Opening Day

it’s the kind of place where you feel known and loved. and at the end of the day isn’t that what everyone craves? to be known and to be loved.

i just took the trek across country to visit my grandmother in the tiny town of murray last weekend, and that is the reason for this post.  i am a city girl for sure. i love living in LA, but there was just something about going back to that town that just feels right, and it always will.

it was always a place of comfort for me, but now it’s a treasure box of memories as well.  we all couldn’t get out of there fast enough, and yet there are days that i long to go back.

although the students come and and go, and the residents of the town changes constantly, it will always hold a place in my heart. the smallness and the slow pace is refreshment to the soul and a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the city.

i hope you have a place like this in your life.

the kind of place that you drive up to, and a weight is immediately lifted off of your chest, and the fresh air seeps into your bones as rejuvenation. they come in all shapes and sizes, the expected and the unexpected. you’ll know it when you find it.  heck, take a look around where you are now.  you are there for a reason, so maybe you are already in that place of peace.  if so, hold on to it.

breathe it in, and write upon your heart that feeling of ultimate comfort and warmth.

********************************************************************

since i played soccer for the university, i bleed blue and gold for the racers.  with the recent success of our basketball team, Liberty Mutual filmed this short documentary on the ‘home team.’  it attempts to capture the love that this town holds. so if you still don’t get it… take a look…

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