There are many Southerners who claim to have been raised in "a small town" but until you've been born in Graceville, Florida and raised in Bonifay, Florida, they wouldn't understand my definition of "small" and wouldn't comprehend why it irks me to hear so many claim to know what it's like to actually live in that kind of a world.
Born: Graceville, Florida, 1977, population less than 2,000
Lived: Bonifay, Florida, through 2000, population 4,078
I lived it, 20 years of it and I came out on the other side and I'm proud of my rural roots for the life it gave me and the life it pushes me to lead now. It's because I come from "a small town" that I am the writer I am, the mother I am, the lawyer I am. It's because I see opportunity and I know what it's like to not have it or to think you don't h ave it. But I see it now and I can't look back because I know what waits for me if I do.