Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Place Where I Belong

My friend Laura Benjamin is an amazing songwriter (shameless plug alert: check out her music at, and one of her many gems is a song called "Yankee Girl." In it, she sings about her journey from suburban New York City to Atlanta, and it contains two of my favorite song lyrics ever, "It's been a long, long time, but I think I've found my voice" and "I've finally found a place where I belong."

I was pondering both sets of lyrics on a ten mile run yesterday. I think most of us search for that place where we belong. In high school, I was the shy, smart music geek who secretly wanted to be the pretty, popular cheerleader. In college, I was still--quite shockingly--the shy, smart music geek, and spent entirely too much time trying to fit in with the "right" sorority and the "right" people that I missed out on some great friendships and experiences. And while I found moments of belonging in graduate school, Ohio isn't exactly where I wanted to put down permanent roots.

As I was running along the Chattahoochee yesterday, it hit me: I was at home. Not necessarily in that location (though it's one of my favorite places to run in all of Atlanta), but in the act. Running is my home, my community, my passion and my joy. Whether I'm nodding to a new mom pushing her baby in a stroller, waving at but secretly hating that 60 year-old guy with the beer belly whizzing by me or screaming "Go Team" at other purple-clad people at races around the country, I feel like I'm surrounded by family. Crazy people like me, who find abundant joy and happiness in the ritual of simply putting one foot in front of the other.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! What IS IT about that guy with the potbelly? How does that happen? It happens to me all too often.


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