Monday, July 24, 2017

20 year Atlien...

July 24, 1997

I remember that day like it was yesterday.

It was the day that I loaded up all of my stuff on a moving truck and moved to Atlanta.

Twenty years have gone by fast. If you would have told me that I would be here for 20 years, I would have told you that you were crazy. I didn't plan to be here this long. Maybe I did...I just never thought about it.

I moved here 20 years ago today and didn't know one person in this city. I only knew my boy, JFresh, who rented a townhouse with me. JFresh and I have been friends since we were 6 years old. He had finished college and moved back to our hometown...Florence, SC. I had just graduated from South Carolina State University and I decided to move to Atlanta. At the time, I was young, energetic, ambitious, and ready to conquer the world. In this city, I found many people like me...young, gifted, and unapologetically black. I was a young bachelor with a pocket full of money. Life was beginning to start.

Life took off! I've had a successful career and I've grown as a person. More importantly, I've grown as a man. Little did I know that I would get married, buy a house, and have 3 incredible sons and 1 incredible daughter. I planted seeds here. Atlanta became home.

While I've grown up over these 20 years, I still appreciate the simple things that I love about this city...cruising down Peachtree Street with the windows down listening to hip hop (I do this at least once a week), stop by Fellini's pizza for a slice or 2, checking out the Hawks or Falcons games, a stroll through Lenox Mall to "people watch", a quiet dinner at Oceanaire, drinks at a few bars in Midtown and Atlantic Station, mad fun at Top Golf, or a solo visit to the Georgia Aquarium to check in on the animals (I love this place more than the kids do). This place has offered me alot. I've watched the city grow. I got here the summer after the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. So much has changed. Then have I.

I've realized that I've lived here longer than I have lived anywhere else in my life. It's weird...when I think about that...but it's true. I've flirted with the idea of living somewhere else...but I don't plan to leave. Atlanta is NOT the "home of the Atlanta Housewives". It is not the "home for Love & Hip Hop Atlanta". It's not the home for ratchet reality tv shows. It's the home of thousands of hard working people (like me) who make a living here and feel good about their city. It's funny to see this city have a firm grip on the hip hop industry. Twenty years ago, the hip hop scene was just starting to bubble with OutKast, Goodie MoB, and Ludacris.

When I moved here 20 years ago...

gas was 99 cents

I had a pager

nobody used this new thing called "the internet"

i had a kitchen table, a bed, and my tv sat on top of a box

Time flies. I've this city has grown. I have always felt at home here. This feels as much like home as does Florence or the campus of South Carolina State University.

This is home.

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