Never did I actually think I would say it, but here it is: I am slightly heartbroken to leave Helena. Yep, truth. Growing up I loved living in Helena. As kids we always said living in a small town gave us our “creative gene”. From playing a huge neighborhood game of cops and robbers at a young age to 4wheelers and field parties as we got older, we tried to always make the most of where we were from. But then the day comes – college A.K.A. movie theaters, glorious restaurant abundance, and many many more people. Every small town kids’ dream ya know? And after many years of being spoiled in that luxurious environment, the thought of ever going back to your small petty town becomes a fleeting chance.
Until you do.
That was my exact thought when moving home. I will only be here a short few months because I will not be able to handle any more than that. But sitting here on my last day as a Helena resident, I have grown to appreciate so many things about this beautiful small town. There is something really special about rediscovering your hometown as an adult. Whether you have the chance for a weekend, a month or six months, I encourage you to go love on the home that raised you. You may just discover the same amazing things that I have come to know and love.
Embrace Your People
It goes without saying, my parents have become my absolute best friends. Actually, let’s all pause and give a round of applause to these two. Right when they were about to become empty nesters with my brother heading to college, I moved in two weeks later. OOPS. But really, these two are rockstars. They are nothing short of adventurous, fun, and encouraging every day, and have never once given grief for the time I took to find a job. They embraced me, I embraced them, and we had tons of fun. Mom has successfully accomplished her dream of making me love cycling, and Dad has shown me that the balance of hard work and making time for your hobbies is important for an awesome and successful day. FARMING TO WINDSURFING.. NEED I SAY MORE? There are so many more things I could include, but it all boils down to considering myself completely lucky to have been able to spend the last six months getting to share life and learn from my parents. And not only did I have my parents, but I had my grandparents! Taking time to look through old books, talk about life while sipping on wine, and riding around the farm became opportunities to love my grandparents better. Lets just say, I think I became the favorite grandchild ;) JK, you King clan….(not really). But anywoo, having the opportunity to be with your family for an extended amount of time is extremely rare for a lot of people. Moments like these past few months I will never get again, so I am beyond grateful that I was given the opportunity to grow and strengthen these relationships at home. Let me tell ya, my parents and grandparents do life FUN and that is a lesson I will carry with me any day.
Embrace The “New”
Towards the end of my high school days, Helena was given grant money to build an AHEC center a.k.a. community workout facility. Because I was in my high school athletic glory days (no big deal y’all… only 1000000000000 ribbons to prove it), I’m pretty sure I never stepped foot in this place. Well when I moved home, my cousin Will and my mom were dedicated to this facility and a training program called Taylor Made. As I had nothing else to do with all of my spare time, I thought I would hop into this workout sesh and see if this “Phillip Taylor” could whip me into shape. Well ATTN: HELENA RESIDENTS, if you aren’t doing the Taylor Made program with Phil, GO JOIN NOW!! I’ll tell you why:
- You build a new community of dedicated friends.
- You will soon be in the best shape of your life.
- Phil is an awesome human being.
To expand on three, this guy could have gone to train anywhere yet he loves his work and clients in Helena. He saw a hole in the personal health department that needed to be met, and excitedly chose to fill the gap by using his talents to change people’s lives. Not only are his classes super unique and hard, they are sooooo much fun and motivating. Believe me, if you go to this class (or a class like this in your town), your “Phil” will become your new best friend… and he’ll get ya into the best shape of your life too! Win-Win.
p.s. this guy loves some burpees.
Embrace What Ya Founders Gave Ya
Helena is small, but WOW do the people here want to have a good time. My favorite thing I have come to love about Helena is that the residents don’t ever let the size of their town stop them from having a good time. They embrace every little moment and make the best of it. My favorite examples from the past few months are:
- First Thursdays Downtown. If you don’t know it yet, Helena’s downtown is now poppin’. We have the cutest little trendy boutique named Bella and quite a few new restaurants in the area like Southbound and Bailey Maes. So every first Thursday, the shops open their doors with appetizers and drinks, and the night ends with live music, friends, and pizza. What’s not to love about this combo?!
- Marti Gras Parade. Y’all. Two floats. TWO FLOATS. And it was the best. Kids were throwing beads off the trailer and a convertible carried a few others in the back. They looped two blocks twelve times, maybe twenty, and you better believe they were having fun every. single. loop. This made my heart smile, and still does thinking about it. WHO’S IN FOR KINGS FARM FLOAT 2018?!
- Concerts Galore. I swear, my parents had an event every week I was there with their friends. So popular right?! Luckily they have the coolest besties in the world so I tagged along and soon enough made them my best friends too. My favorite event was a Paul Thorn concert that was hosted downtown against the levee. (That dude loves some Helena!) Imagine: fold out chairs, beer in hand, and all of your parents hilariously dancing in a mosh pit at the end of the concert. Now that’s a memory that can never fade.
So there we have it. Helena, you were a freaking-blast most days. Along with all of the memories, I hope to take the lessons I learned from being at home and apply them to my new life in Nashville: develop relationships, never be afraid to try something new, and embrace what the city has to offer. Do those three things, and it will have to be one heck of a time. Guess I’ll soon find out!