As a young woman in 1995, I left Oklahoma City seeking my future working with Cox Communications’ Atlanta headquarters, no idea how that decision would change my life far beyond my career. The move proved to be a major rite of passage.
Newly divorced from a six-year marriage entered at age 19, I had never truly lived on my own before. Like most young adults, I considered myself mature for my age and thought I knew everything there was to know about living a good life. Ha! I laugh at myself even now as I write this.
My views about life changed big time during my Atlanta venture. Living among independent transplants like myself, it wasn’t hard to see how important our newly created kinship was to us,
as we made weekly plans to “meetup” at one of our favorite local hangouts. When you’re away from family and the familiarity of a hometown, it sure is nice to have people close by that you can connect with. We often gathered for holidays to avoid being alone and had a blast. I felt so grown-up to be out there on my own living it up in “Hotlanta”.
Today, I still cherish those good-time memories, and I’m glad to be back in OKC. The city that greeted me upon my homecoming in 2005 had radically changed from what I remembered. I looked around bright-eyed taking in all the new sights pointed out by my brother, Tony, as he drove me around town. OKC’s growth hasn’t slowed an iota since; everywhere you look, something exciting is going on.
I always get a kick from checking out billboards and bumper stickers wherever I go. You can tell a lot about a place, the people and how they relate to the world just by paying attention to words stuck on the back end of their cars. There are several stickers and billboards that I like seeing on a daily basis because they bring a smile to my face. One bumper sticker that always makes me chuckle is “I live in my own little world—but it’s okay—everyone knows me here.”
I love living here, mainly because I love the people, especially our healthy living community. It’s great to be able to strike up a conversation with the person stand- ing next to you or helping you at the store. That unparalleled down-home feeling never leaves you where it found you; it makes everything better.
To families, friends and lasting connections of the heart,
Tina Hilbert, Publisher
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