Nothing can be finer,… than sitting in a jam-packed coffee shop near the UNC campus.
This time of new beginnings, of delving back into academic studies (I can reach my hand to the right or to the left on this giant bar and feel books, papers and laptops strewn everywhere) cause me to ache with nostalgia.
I’ve gotten into a comfortable habit of coming here at least a couple times per week, after a long day of mostly twiddling my thumbs on the day job, to be re-awakened. Many studies have proven that being in such creative environments can in fact be stimulating.
What I’m finding a little less stimulating though is that so many of my friends are leaving my fair state! It seems that California, with her promise of less humidity and perhaps greater employment, is re-claiming her former residents. I don’t know if living out there would be for me though, as the cost of living is pretty high and I’m not so sure about earthquakes. But then I guess we all have some sort of natural disasters to deal with.
I know that it’s pretty likely I’ll leave this state for whatever comes next, unless something unforeseen happens. But if I do, I’ll be happy that I got to experience life in three fairly different regions: Moore County and the Sand Hills, (country, country, country!) the Triangle, (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) basically the intellectual heart of NC, and the Charlotte area, which some derisively call the Great State of Mecklenburg.
Ah, my hometown of Charlotte. Right now, much of our national representation is due to the somewhat hapless Carolina Panthers (NFL). You know, I’m half tired of watching this team so often start the season in the same way. Facing the Seattle Seahawks, we managed to drop one late yesterday 12-7 when DeAngelo Williams, one of our star running backs lost the ball on the Seattle 7 yard line as we were going in to score. This happened, as do so many of our disasters, in the fourth quarter. But I should try and be a devoted fan and keep watching, hoping that maybe on the tenth anniversary of what will probably always be the best season in Panthers history, we’ll manage to recapture a bit of that magic somehow. Remember the infamous Super Bowl with Janet Jackson showing off a bit more than she should have? Yep, we were there!
And these are some of the things I’ve been pondering during my long hours at the table, thinking about all of the things that make our state unique. Wherever I end up going, I hope to settle back here once I’m fully in my career, and I hope that particularly our urban centers can become a bit more interesting so that we don’t keep bleeding off good, talented people. Until next time, from the Tar Heel State.