When I was younger, as my dad left for work every morning, my mom and I would stand at the front door.
She’d pick me up, and we’d throw open the glass door to wave as my dad honked and drove past. If, for whatever reason, he left before we could wave, then my mom and I would call to let him know we were waving.
That became our tradition for over 22 years — as all three of our schedules shifted around, we weren’t always able to go right to the door, but before we left we always made sure to say: “I’m honking,” with the response coming: “I’m waving!”
Rocky Mount, I’ve got big news: I’m moving! While I’ll still be with my same job, I will no longer be based out of the Rocky Mount office — although I anticipate frequent visits, enough so that my mom can’t completely renovate my bedroom just yet.
I’ve been listening to this song recently. One of the lyrics goes: “Now that our haunts have taken flight/And been replaced with construction sites/Oh how I feel like a stranger here/Searching for something that’s disappeared.”
While the song itself is about a relationship, I think it applies here as well — I was born and raised in Rocky Mount, have lived in the same house for nearly 23 years, frequented the same restaurants and ordered the same thing enough times that the wait staff recognizes me when I walk through the door.
Now that I’m moving, I fear the changes that will happen in my absence: What if one of my favorite restaurants closes? What if the people I recognize leave? There are so many new houses and roads being built and developed; will I still be able to find my way around when I come back?
Logically, I know the city probably won’t change that much in between my visits. I’ll still hear of the latest developments in dining and other gossip, and people will keep in touch. But it’s kind of scary, moving to a new city. I know Rocky Mount like the back of my hand — it’s home.
Will I be able to develop that in a place I’ve never lived before? I’ll keep you all updated.
Now, before I sign off on this column: Thank you. I’ve lived in Rocky Mount for almost 23 years, and it’s true that it takes a village. If I were to thank everyone who had an impact on my life, this article would never end, so please accept my thanks and the fact that you have not been forgotten by me.
Don’t worry, I do plan to continue writing as long as you all will read me. But I just wanted to say thank you and to let you all know: I’m honking. I hope you’re waving.