Monday, August 22, 2011

A Greensboro Weekend

As many of you know, I recently became an official resident of this lovely city we call Greensboro. Now I am not completely new to the area - I grew up in High Point - but it is a very different experience living in a city than living next to a city. I've had to find a new pharmacy, a new grocery store, a new Target. But most importantly, I have had to find new things to do.

My friend Alex, who also just moved here, told me this week, "I don't want to be passive here. I don't want to miss out on a community experience." At the time, it seemed like kind of a weird thing to say. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much harder it is NOT to be passive at this stage in our lives. When you are younger, your parents sign you up for clubs and classes and take you to play dates, so without even trying you are involved in a social experience. Then in high school and college, the school provides activities for you like sporting events and volunteer opportunities, so again, you don't even have to try to make yourself an active member of the community. You can be passive.

Then, once you become an adult and you make your own decisions and you aren't being force-fed things to do, it becomes harder and harder to be a part of anything besides your couch. You have to be active and seek out opportunities to participate in your community. And this is what Alex was trying to say. I don't want to be passive here. I don't want to let the chance to experience my new life in my new town pass me by.

And I have really started to agree with her. So this weekend I took a stance and decided to be an active Greensboro resident and appreciate all this town has to offer. Friday night I went to Center City Cinema, a free movie in Center City Park. There were a lot of people there to meet and see and it was a good chance to eat ice cream. Plus, this movie was no joke. It wasn't just shown on the side of a building or something. They have a legit big screen and everything.

Then Saturday my husband went to the Wyndham Championship, Greensboro's own PGA tour event. Although I didn't go, I did spend the afternoon watching it on TV and honestly I was impressed by how many big names I saw on the leaderboard. It wasn't just some little no-name round of golf. But more than that, I read up on the tournament and got the feel for what a historic and important event the Wyndham is for our town. There is an excellent article about it in the new O. Henry Magazine, which I highly recommend reading. You can find it (and several other fascinating articles about GSO) here.

Finally, and this might seem silly, I joined the Greensboro Public Library. It might not seem like a big deal to you, but to me it was a pretty big step in making my residence here permanent. My whole life, I have only ever belonged to one library. For the same reason that I always wrote my High Point address on everything, I always just had my High Point Public Library membership. Everywhere that I lived besides High Point was temporary. I knew I was eventually going to move away from my college town, and out of my apartment after that. So what was the point in getting my mail sent there or racking up fees at that library? I didn't really see one. So the fact that I went into the Greensboro Public Library this weekend with proof of address and got that card, meant that I was essentially saying, I live here and I plan on staying a while. And it was a good feeling.

Hopefully if there is anyone reading this that is also new to this city, you are now encouraged to take part in all that this town has to offer. And perhaps, if you are reading this and you have been living here for a while, you feel inspired to reconnect with this city you call home. Either way, take Alex's words to heart.

I don't want to be passive here.

Want another way to be involved? Check out my new blog, 100 Books!

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