This weekend I got married. It wasn’t a sudden thing. I’ve been in this relationship for 26 years and felt like the time was right. Like any relationship, we’ve had our ups and downs. Sometimes I’ve wanted to shake this relationship and sometimes I’ve wanted to leave. Instead I’ve stuck by through my growing pains.
Yes, this weekend I got married, to Durham. I’m a Durham native (yes, we do still exist!) and over the past few years I’ve started to put my adults roots down here. I’ve bought a house, I shop locally when I can, I volunteer, and now with my current job in sustainable transportation, I’ve really seen the community in a different light.
On Saturday, Durham residents paraded around Central Park Durham and pledged to support, engage with, speak positively about and stick by Durham through the good and the bad. As I stood in the afternoon sun surrounded by people, some dressed in wedding gowns and tuxs, enjoying the festive music and the jubilation that comes with a well-planned and awesome wedding, I started thinking, “How will this relate to my work ? Will people step up when it’s time to vote for transit related bills and laws? Will the government do it’s part to support this union between the city and it’s residents? Or was this just a really good party to support local non-profits?”
My hope is that this was just the beginning of people taking notice of all the good things that make up Durham and seeing where we need to pick up steam. This means more bike lanes, more connections to the American Tobacco Trail and other greenways that come through our city. This means giving feedback for better bus service in Durham (you can do that here) and letting elected officials know what we need as a community to be healthy and sustainable.
If I do leave this city, my relationship won’t be over. My family is here and my memories are here. I will always call Durham ‘home’.
Did you get married this weekend? Let us know what you vowed to do for the Bull City in the comments!