No. 107

Country Boys

ridingthefence-Andygt

There’s something about these country boys — the way they hold open doors for a woman and insist on paying for friends’ drinks, the way they look at you and are really there, the way their accent deepens or slowness of speech lengthens as the night and drinking wear on, the way they all seem to have an instinct about the outdoors.

I’d known a small handful prior to moving down to the Washington, D.C. – Virginia area, and there was a part of me that had fallen in love with each of them just a tiny bit. But as I’ve descended deeper into the world of archery, I’ve met more, and these men have been incredibly generous to me — teaching me, helping me, cooking for me, reminding me that I’m special just because I’m me.

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And while I’ve learned useful skills like how to set up a tent and how to work on my bow, I’ve discovered some unexpected lessons as well.

I have been taught how important it is to be unapologetically me.

I have learned that a person’s true influence comes from their radiance and generosity.

I have discovered that the best remedy for any heartache is love — first, by loving yourself, and later, by finding a way to love the person who hurt you.

And even deeper than that: I have found that love can’t always be defined or neatly categorized, that people are so much more complex and beautiful than you might suspect from first impressions, that the best way to understand another person is to be vulnerable with who you are.

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They have a gravity that’s uniquely theirs. And so many have hearts of gold to match.

{images used under Creative Commons License from Andy Tolsma, Adam Cohn, and Satria Nugraha.}

About brandi

Brandi is a digital strategist, website developer, and founder of Alchemy+Aim, a company that helps entrepreneurs and business owners elevate their online presence and enhance their digital experience. Her academic background in theatre, philosophy and physics was the perfect foundation for launching her business, where she’s worked with Brené Brown, Laverne Cox, Judy Smith, and other notable thought leaders since 2013. She is an advocate for using technology in ways that humanize, connect and serve people as well as for asking deeper philosophical questions and teaching others to think more broadly about impact when they create, particularly in STEAM fields.

5 thoughts on “Country Boys

  1. You captured the spirit of country boys so well. It’s like they have this certain respect for nature, and therefore others, that affects everything they do.

    let’s go find some out here! (for you, hehe)

  2. “I have discovered that the best remedy for any heartache is love — first, by loving yourself, and later, by finding a way to love the person who hurt you…” beautiful words!

  3. as always so beautifully written, Brandi!! You really captured the essence of those boys in the south, including the gentlemen in my family. Loads of common sense, survival skills and a heart of gold!

  4. Oh come visit me in Arkansas…there are plenty of country boys!! They are a different breed though, that is for sure. I’ve met a few and I can’t get over them!

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Credits

Jane Reaction

(logo and original branding) is a graphic design and art director who works with with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, creating cohesive and interesting brands and websites.

Carrie Coleman

(photography) is a wedding photographer, whose goal is to capture the visual expression of a couple's love through timeless, organic images. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.