What would make us leave our beautiful home in Asheville, North Carolina for the likes of Detroit, Michigan?
Well, to start, I (Jessica) spent my first 18 years in St. Clair Shores (8 mile & Harper). Then on to Savannah, Georgia for my first two years of college and culture shock before transferring to Asheville, North Carolina. Andrew and I cozied into mountain life for about the next 11 years and loved every minute of it. However, there were a few things missing. I didn't feel needed or very inspired to do big things there. Anyone whose spent much time in Asheville knows about the chill, spiritual vortex that blankets the area. Its a place for healing and comfort. My creativity is often driven by discomfort and chaos. I need to be driven to roll up my sleeves, get dirty and face the wind. I began to think to myself, "we have a lot to offer and I didn't feel very useful in the mecca of Asheville."
I never much cared for Kid Rock until the summer of 2009 when my sister took me to see him live at Comerica Park . During the show I heard and felt that familiar message of pride, resilience, tough love, passion and hope. These are the virtues we Detroiters are born into. This is what keeps us moving forward despite the snow storm. That's when it hit me, I was ready to come home. When I heard, "It's been so long, since I've been home. I've been gone, I've been gone for way to long. Maybe I forgot all the things I miss. Oh, somehow I know there's more to life than this." Cue the tears. The more to life for me is and has always been to make a positive change in the world. Asheville taught me that change begins on the inside and only after gaining wisdom through experience do you have something worth sharing with the world.
When I was 4 I wanted to sing and dance like Madonna. When I was 14 I wanted to model, travel the world and wear thousand dollar dresses. When I was 24 I wanted to sell million dollar sculptures. None of these things came to fruition. Now that I'm a few years shy of 34, a wife and a mother, I am really thinking about what would truly make me happy. I am not completely sure but I think it looks something like helping rebuild Detroit, utilizing my creative talents to beautify our city and my teaching skills to open up hearts so Detroit can hold its proper place in the sun.