Why am I writing when it's labor day weekend? I can't help it, this is my jam, and I like to write, create, and put my thoughts down on digital paper. It helps me to relax and there's no better feeling than thinking of a concept and then bringing it to life. So, lately I have had this line from Donny & Marie's famous song running through my head--- "I'm a little bit country." Ok, so how did this Panamañian girl, who grew up in the suburbs of MD start feeling a little country? Well, I'm going to explain. Since, I've lived in St. Louis for the past three years, there are a few things that I have been doing that I didn't do while I was living in the east coast. I share them below:
#1) Full Blown, Deep Conversations with Sales Clerks/ Cashiers
In the past, I was always rushing and running into stores to get my goods, and then I was out of the door like a flash, with no interest in connecting with anyone that came my way. I am a completely new person in St. Louis! Now, when I walk into a store and the cashier or sales clerk wants to shoot the breeze with me and chit chat, I actually slow my butt down and I talk. I am literally engaging in conversations about my weekend, the food I like, or just random stuff. I would have NEVER done this in Maryland. So, there you have it, country vibe #1!
#2) I Wave To Everyone That Drives Through My Neighborhood
SInce I moved to my neighborhood, I was blessed with amazing neighbors who really showed they care, and we gather outside of our homes to talk about nonsense. But, overall, it's just a little love that we like to show each other to have a strong sense of community. In my former neighborhoods, I really didn't know my neighbors, and if I did, it was always in a very distant way. Also, it's a "thing" to wave at everyone who drives into our neighborhood, and I never did this before I moved to St. Louis. Actually, I grew up being raised to walk fast and to not make eye contact with strangers. Well, your girl is over here smiling at strangers! LOL! Country vibe evidence #2!
#3) Everyone Knows Your Name
St. Louis is considered a mid-sized city, but for real, it's a small area. I see the same people everywhere. It actually feels like college, where you had class with someone in that big lecture hall, and then you saw them at the grocery store the next day. Well, in college that wasn't a big deal because you guys were in school and that made sense. In St. Louis, it happens all the time!! You see people at a festival, networking event, and then you see them while you're out at dinner or at church. At first, it really bothered me...I used to be like, OMG, this place is too small! Now, I'm actually liking it...lol. It feels like a huge extended family scattered across a town. I'm at a store, and when someone says, "I think I have seen you somewhere," I embrace it, smile, and say, "yeah, we probably ran into each other somewhere." Country vibe #3!
#4) Easy Livin'
It doesn't get old to be able to drive to a concert or drive into downtown, and traffic is practically non-existent. Your day isn't filled with hours of traffic and you can go wherever you please at whatever time of day, without the fact that rush hour is going to prevent you from living the life you want to live. Also, prices are lower out here, compared to the east coast. Loving this easier lifestyle. Country vibe #4!
I like to think that I try to pay attention to my health goals, exercise, and take care of myself. But, in St. Louis, health is cool, but there's a huge emphasis on GOOD, YUMMY food. So, the average woman is not a size 2. And boy that is so liberating and awesome. I am still a big believer in exercising, but damn, if I gained a few pounds....it's cool! Not a big deal! St. Louis holds no punches on rich, tasty food. The old Kayra would judge the crap out of this food, but now....i'm a little bit country...lol, so I eat my cornbread with heavy butter and bacon topping. Yup, country vibe #5!
I could share more, but you get the point. I'm a waving, chit-chatting, bacon fat loving, friendly neighbor...haha. I would have never guessed this would be the new me. But, I welcome it. To be quite honest, I think I've always been a little bit country, St. Louis just pulled it out of me.
Wishing you guys a Happy Sunday! Keep having fun on this labor day weekend!