Columbus, It’s Time We Had That Talk. I’m In Love With West Virginia.
I grew up in Columbus, Ohio.
Now I know to a lot of you who know me from my childhood and my later adult years in West Virginia, that statement may sound wrong to you. It’s true though.
I spent my first 20 years in West Virginia, but I grew into an adult in Columbus, Ohio. I spent six years of my life in Columbus. It was my first time on my own. It was my first time experiencing life on my own. It was my first time experience hurt on my own. It was my first time living on my own.
The city of Columbus has a very special place in my heart. There are a lot of memories of mine (mostly related to sports) from that city. I met some very great people in that city – much to the disbelief of people from outside of Ohio who seem to think it’s a state full of jerks. However, it’s been two years since I’ve moved away from the city and back home and after two years, it’s come time for this.
Columbus, we’re breaking up.
Now, now. Please don’t be sad. It’s not you. It’s me.
I just simply don’t love you anymore. Not in the way you want me to love you. I mean, I love the times we had together. We had some really great times together. We built a lot of memories. It’s just… well… it’s been two years since we last saw each other and this long distance relationship just can’t work any longer.
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and while it may be true, it just didn’t happen with us. Sure, I read your newspapers. I listened to your radio stations. I talked to our mutual friends, and then one day it hit me.
I’m just so better off without you.
While we had a lot of great times together, we also had a lot of heartbreaking times. And it’s hard not to associate those memories with you. Sure, you can say it’s not really you, and while you may be great for 1.9 million people, you’re just not right for me.
See, Columbus, I’ve met someone else. It’s someone who really knows me.
It’s West Virginia.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. West Virginia? That state beside us with all the mountains and coal? Yes. That West Virginia.
And I know, there are 1.9 million people in Columbus and only 1.8 million in the entire state of West Virginia… but that’s why I love it. It’s simple. It’s true. It’s me.
You see, Columbus, in West Virginia I have my life. I have family – almost all of my family. And while you and I have six great years of memories together, I have a lifetime of memories here. Not just my memories, but my family’s memories.
It’s the place where my family settled when they came to this country. It’s the place where through some strange occurrence, people found people, people fell in love, and that love has led to me being here today.
It’s a place where I know there is always an open door, open arms, and open hearts waiting for me at any minute I need it.
It’s a place where people are genuinely good, where people genuinely pull together to help each other out in time of need. It’s a place where love, faith, and charity aren’t just painted signs hanging on the walls of little shops selling rustic antiques. It’s a way of life.
It’s a place where I was able to retreat in a time of need, take my time, and heal my heart and heal my life. It was a hospital in my time of illness, injury, and brokenness.
And you know what? It’s where I’m meant to be.
So while West Virginia may not have the trendy restaurants, the city life, or even the jobs and careers you can offer me, Columbus, it’s for me. It’s where my roots are.
Columbus, I bid thee farewell. While I’m sure someday we’ll see each other again, please know, it’s only going to be a passing moment. Maybe it will be with a family of my own, and I’ll look at you and smile, thanking you for helping me grow into a man. That being said, I’ve moved on. I’ve found true life and true love in these green rolling hills.
And I couldn’t be happier.