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People who don’t write or garden must spend a lot of money on therapy.

For the last year, I’ve wanted to finish up the last of my bachelor’s degree, and start pursuing a master’s degree. Why traditional education? Because I want to teach unconventionally within a conventional place. I want to support that handful of people who *get it.* The freedom fighters. The seekers.

But it’s been a battle. MAT or MFA? High schoolers or college students? Politics with parents or politics with everyone else? But oh, to focus on writing. And to share it with others!

It won’t be the only way I work with others, but I do think it adds a layer of community involvement that I can’t replicate in any other way. Being a contributing part of where you are is crucial.

Recently, I was speaking with someone who admitted he thought place was “pointless.” I understand what he meant – that where you are from matters less than what you do. But to dismiss place and its effect on us, not to mention our effect on place.

I didn’t really value what I had growing up until I started traveling. During a nine-month stint in San Antonio, I was christened “Granola” because I wanted to recycle cardboard at the cafe I managed. On the other side of things, I met some of the most generous and loving people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. But it didn’t take long to realize Texas was great to visit, but it’s not home.

Seattle is fun, like Portland, but the people are colder there.

Los Angeles has no soul.

Place is prophetic of who you’ll become. You can’t outrun your past. It’s why we have this idea of “coming home” in so many stories, but especially in songs. Music has a way of conveying a loneliness for place no other medium can touch.

Place can feel like something that happens to you. You are a result of your surroundings. But you also leave an imprint on those surroundings.

How? Simple. When you engage with your community, you change it for the better. You make an impact on kids lives. You plant trees the next generation will get to enjoy. You create a social fabric worth hanging on to, coming back to, and sharing.