Boca girls have a reputation of being materialistic, snobby, and bitchy. Yes, I can be all of those things; however, on most days I am the complete opposite. I know how to dine in five star restaurants, which fork to use during which course, but I prefer a place with burgers, fries, and laughter. I have an appreciation for Tiffany’s and Coach, but I’m just as attached to hand made, artisan jewelry and handbags. I enjoy sitting in the first row at a Tampa Bay Rays game, but nose bleed seats for the Red Sox work just as well. I find comfort walking through cities with cement towering over me, yet I find nothing more peaceful than the vastness of open land and mountain ranges.
I recently heard about a ten mile loop that many runners flock to on Sunday mornings. Today, I drove the 30 minutes to see what all the fuss was about. I started my run at 7am with only four other runners. I turned up my Jason Aldean playlist and lost myself in the solidarity. The sight of a clay road and nature greeted me with open arms.
A peaceful perfection sprawled all around me. It enveloped me in its simplicity. I wish I had found this trail sooner so I could get lost in thought, country music, and my true, simplistic nature more often.
I pretend I’m a country girl as if it were in my blood, but being raised in Boca makes you just the opposite. Over the years I’ve learned that South Florida is not the “South”. I don’t have the down home roots or the sexy, southern drawl. I didn’t drink Sweet Tea until I moved to Orlando in my early 20’s. I’m still working on buying my first pair of REAL cowboy boots (DSW doesn’t count). My radio was never tuned into the country station until college.
What I have realized is that you can embody “Country” no matter where you were raised. You can appreciate simplicity and the beauty of nature. You can bleed Red, White, and Blue. You can relate to a country song. (Yes, Luke Bryan, I’d prefer to go way out where the corn grows and catch us a little catfish dinner rather than going downtown.) You can hope to lay out on the tailgate of a truck listening to music and looking up at the stars.
I may have been raised in Boca, but I carry the Boondocks in my heart.