Taking the quirky path in Selma

Published 8:37pm Friday, July 26, 2013

I’ve officially hit the age where the majority of my friends are married, engaged or “engaged to be engaged.” Most of my weekends consist of weddings, bachelorette parties and bridal teas and my refrigerator is becoming a montage of smiling couples, sitting in grassy pastures gazing into each other’s eyes — gushing with young love.

And while I’m overjoyed for my friends, I can’t help but examine my choices and realize I’ve taken a very different path as my closest personal relationship right now is with my laptop, notebook and voice recorder. If I’m not at the office, I’m probably decompressing from a long workday, or talking about Selma with friends and family. Over the course of one day I probably say the word “Selma” at least 100 times — no joke.

Being a reporter, I get to talk daily with local leaders and discuss issues that matter, issues that affect our community. Through covering board meetings, attending school events and interviewing those who are passionate about Selma, I too have become a Selma cheerleader. I want this city to grow, and I want the rest of the state and nation to know Selma for more than its role in the civil rights movement. I want people to know Selma for its hardworking residents, who strive every day to make it better. I want those who visit Selma to walk down Broad Street and purchase something from Carter’s, or drive down Landline Road and buy a chicken swirl from Mark’s Mart.

Leaders often compare Selma to other cities, and dream of a day when tourists flock to Dallas County. This dream is great, but we shouldn’t compare Selma to other places because frankly, Selma is different — and a little quirky. Instead of a Waffle House, we have a Mr. Waffle and some of the best home cooking is found inside a gas station on Dallas Avenue. To most, Selma’s quirks may seem unappealing. I know when I first moved here it took me a while to wrap my mind around the fact that I couldn’t get a Starbucks expresso at 11 p.m. if I wanted to. And while Selma may be a little different, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. We should of course always strive to make our city better, but lets not forget to embrace what we already have.

Much like Selma, I guess I’m a little quirky too, and that’s probably why my choices led me in a completely different direction than most my age. Even though it’s highly unlikely I’ll be mailing my “save the date” anytime soon, I’m grateful for where I am and what I’ve accomplished so far. I never imagined myself living and working in Selma (by the way, that’s the 15th time I’ve said Selma in this column) but I’m glad I ended up here, and can’t wait to see where this amazing career takes me next.

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