In watching the Winter Olympics over the past few weeks, it struck me that many of these athletes more than likely became athletes because of where they were born or living at the time they became passionate about their sport.
I know that’s not always true — examples like the Jamaican bobsled team, the lone athlete from the Philippines, who was a figure skater, and even a skier or snowboarder who was from Indiana. Hmmm…. I don’t recall many mountains in Indiana.
But how much does geographic location influence our life choices? I’m a military brat, so we moved frequently. In elementary school, we lived in Virginia.
I loved Virginia! The beaches were great. I loved learning about colonial history. I loved the field trips to Jamestown and visiting Williamsburg. I could see myself attending the College of William and Mary and hanging out in Williamsburg or at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. for the rest of my days.
Alas, the military moved us again — to New Mexico. New Mexico couldn’t have been much different from Virginia! As our location shifted, so did my dreams. Throughout middle school and the beginning of high school, I knew I was going to California. I was going to attend UCLA and work in the entertainment industry. That was my plan. I was going to make it big in Hollywood.
But plans change. In the middle of high school, we were transferred again. This time to Austin, Texas. Yep, it’s true. Texas is like a whole other country. And Austin had a great university right there, so I ended up close to home, going to the University of Texas (Hook ‘Em Horns). My entertainment dreams were still around, because I studied studied Radio, Television and Film.
Geography did have an influence on my life. I haven’t been to Virginia since I was a little girl. I have never lived in California. Now, I did work for 15 years in Radio and Television — in New Mexico, so that dream never died. It just moved with me to where I was living at the time.
Six and a half years ago, my husband got a job in the Dallas area. Dallas? No, if I was living in Texas, it should be Austin or San Antonio. Dallas wasn’t even on my radar.
But guess what? We love it here. Like any good military brat, I know how to make wherever I’m living be “home.” And this truly does feel like home to me.
While there are some who will leave home to pursue their dreams — the Olympic athletes who go to where the best training facilities are, who learn the love of their sport from growing up surrounded by that sport — most of us will bloom where we’re planted. It may be a different place than our childhood home or it may be the place where we’re born and raised and “everybody knows your name.”
In all my dreams of Williamsburg and Hollywood, even Austin, I never thought about Dallas. It’s a good thing God knows best.
I believe that God has me right where he wants me — and I need to bloom right here.
I wouldn’t change a thing.