-Photo Credit: Unknown
Salt water in the air, a brisk ocean breeze, ahh…home sweet home! I was born and raised here on Cape Cod, and sometimes I forget that I’m living a life others only dream about, merely by my location. For the past couple of years, I have been dreaming about relocating…starting somewhere fresh. I’ve practically planned my “move” to North Carolina, I even have the school picked out for my daughter to attend. I forget that Cape Cod is a dream destination. Recently, I was on a school trip with Phi Theta Kappa in Washington D.C. with myself, 3 other students, and our chapter advisor. The 3 of us who were born and raised here on Cape were discussing how badly we wanted to move somewhere else, anywhere but Cape Cod. As we were exploring nearby Alexandria, VA. I expressed my strong desires to leave the Cape and start a new life. Our advisor, who did not grow up here, asked us why we wanted to move so bad? To her, Cape Cod was a dream, it was her dream to move here, buy a house, and settle down. It was at that moment I realized I am living in others dreamlands. I imagined the people from North Carolina possibly wishing they could move to…New England.
A lot has happened to our peaceful “dream destination” over the past few years. A heroin epidemic has swept our region with crime, shame, guilt, and death. Cape Cod has become the number one place in Massachusetts in overdose deaths (*according to an article in the Cape Cod Times). It seems as if every other day another classmate of mine has lost their battle. Sudden death has become such a norm to me that I no longer respond to it. It doesn’t phase me anymore…that is a scary place to be. I thought if I leave here, and move elsewhere, then maybe I can give my daughter a fighting chance to avoid this epidemic. I’m even second guessing myself as I type this…I don’t know what the future holds for us, I don’t know if we’ll stay here or if we’ll move…but what I do know is that I am going to make the best of it while I am here. Packing up, and running away from this place isn’t going to fix anything. We need to stand up for ourselves, our lives, our children & their futures. Teaching my daughter to run away from a scary situation is not going to protect her, it is only going to teach her that running away from problems is the solution.
No…it is not. I am going to teach her to appreciate the beauty that is around us, in this beautiful place we call home. I’ve started a bucket list for beautiful sites to visit, right here on Cape Cod. First on the list is walking to The Knob in Falmouth. Second on the list is visiting Scargo Tower in Dennis. Truro lighthouse…Cape Cod National Seashore…Provincetown…the Sandwich Boardwalk…Cape Cod Canal. The list goes on and on. We need to preserve our futures, preserve our homes, protect our children. Appreciate the beauty in all that is around us, make a name for ourselves. I was recently asked “What will you do to help keep Cape Cod’s business young?” The first thing I am going to do is stay.