Humans of Cleveland

Humans of Cleveland

Photo courtesy of Peri McIntosh

This week our walk in Cleveland took us to Hardwick's; a men's clothing store of the classiest variety. We had no idea what to expect as we stepped into the cologne and candle steeped room. The walls were lined in jackets, and bowties stood straight in their neat racks.

Stephanie Smith, a worker in the store greeted us immediately, and shared how she ended up in our little town this past fall.

'What brought you to Cleveland?'

'I was working in the car business up here. And I was looking for lunch, like little getaways, and I started going to Gardener's Market. First I went to the library and I fell in love because it had a little café. And I, we love to read; I have three little girls. I thought to myself one day, 'Wow, it would be so neat to rent a house up here.' I've never fallen in love with a town. Well, maybe Nashville. But I just go crazy over this place. It's small. I can walk to places. I think it's charming. I love that you can hear the bells ring from my porch.'

'Did you grow up in a small town?'

'I spent most of my life in Chattanooga, but before I was in a small town called Trenton, Georgia; which is even smaller than this. I think that's what gave me my love for a small town.'

'What's the best advice you've ever received?'

'I think it's better to enjoy your life and be happy then to worry about what others think. Because you've got one life. How do you feel? Are you enjoying your life? The true question is, 'Are you alive?''

'Could you tell us a memory of when you felt most alive?'

'In the past five years I've really wanted to work on living the life I want to live. A few years back I first started exploring what makes me feel good, and then made sure that I was doing that every day.'

'What are some of the things that make you happy?'

'The woods. I absolutely adore nature. Whether it's a glass of wine in the woods, or a cup of coffee in the woods. For me, that's where I feel closest to God. That and reading.'

"What kind of books do you like?'

'I like to grow. I like to learn. My favorite book is the Bible, believe it or not. I love it. Someone was making fun of me the other day. They were like, 'Who reads Deuteronomy?' And I was like, 'Well I do!' But, I love poetry. I like things that paint a picture. And there are a lot of metaphors in the Bible. There's a lot of imagery. I like beautiful words."

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