As a young woman, if you were to have asked me what I believed the most beautiful place in the world to be, I would have surely responded with the Roanoke Valley. A small, pioneering community, nestled into the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia.
You see, I’ve lived in several places throughout my life. I was born and spent my early childhood years by the shore outside Atlantic City, lived for a short time in Southern California, but my fondest moments of my childhood were spent in Virginia. Days spent riding along the Blue Ridge Mountains in Autumn, walking through downtown Roanoke’s Science Museum during school trips, and spending many, many night gazing up to the Mill Mountain Star, a depression-era, six-story, man-made star that overlooks much of the city.
And in terms of the hipster scale, I’m sure Virginia doesn’t rank über high for most. With its plantations and historic battlefields, it’s most history professor than hipster. But it was always a welcoming place to call home. When people learn I’m from Virginia, I commonly am asked, “Don’t they have mountains.” And they’re right, yes, Virginia has tons of mountains, and they are some of the most beautiful mountains in the world.
It was during a very trying time in my life, when I moved away from my home state at the age of twenty-one, and eventually moving to what would be my new home-away-from-home, Mississippi. I would have never thought that I could find a new refuge that filled my soul nearly as much as my beloved Southwestern Virginia, but Mississippi has been such a surprise to me in so many ways.
While the eastern half of the twin states may not be the hot spot for thrill seekers this summer, this girl loves it! After all, it was in this state that I found my two great passions in life, social justice and art. It was also in Mississippi that I met the love of my life, my husband Daniel.
It was also Mississippi that introduced me to some of the greatest music in the world, by way of the Delta Blues. And did I mention food? Mississippi, aside from being the birthplace of the Mississippi Mud Pie, also hosts some of the best barbecue in this country. Hands down.
The Magnolia State is also the only place in the world for me that can give my beloved Virginia a run for its money, in terms of natural, scenic beauty. Whether riding along the historic Natchez Trace or the Mississippi Blues trail, beautiful foilage is in abundance. And it is also during Autumn that Mississippi develops a romantic, dusty, spicy aroma, that can be smelled no matter where you travel. I look forward to this aroma each and every year. It’s a smell that rivals even the best pumpkin spice candles! While it’s a small thing, that smell, that glorious earthy smell, senses with such joy!
Though it’s been nearly a decade since I first made acquaintance with the Magnolia State, it’s left such an indelible mark on my life. Leaving my family, friends, and everything that was safe for me behind was the scariest transition of my adult life. But I can honestly say that moving to this state has helped me to grow as a woman, as a wife, as a person. In Mississippi, I found that my life truly began at the end of my comfort zone, and I am a better person because of it. In Mississippi, we are all just one bless your heart away from greatness!
While I know my life, my family, my community, are all here in Mississippi, and now so is my heart. I’ve come to love this beautiful state. So much so that it really has become my home. I’m certainly grateful to have discovered this hopeful state, my beautiful little town, this small corner of the world that is simply my own. In Mississippi, we are all just one bless your heart away from greatness!
To honor my new home state, I’m wearing my Cents of Style Mississippi State Necklaces. This set of necklace, with both my state name and cardinal points, helps me show off to the world just how much I’ve grown to love the great Magnolia State!
And since it’s Fashion Friday, I wanted to share with you all that currently, Cent of Style has these awesome necklaces on sale for only $11.99, and free shipping, with promo code NEWSTATE! They are available for each and every state, so you can sport your home state love in style, too! Because after all, there’s no place like home.
Here’s to making memories,