Six months after arriving in Montana, I'm perched on my cousin's kitchen counter, the same place I was when I first arrived. Bradley's making coffee and I'm warming my feet on the radiator. We're talking about where we'll go in the next six months: Austin, Tulsa, Vegas, Anchorage, might even pencil in a trip back home to Roxboro, North Carolina.

​"You know, I had my trepidations about you coming out here." He's echoing my mom, and pretty much everyone who saw me move 2,500 miles to a place I'd never been before. Even I thought I'd have gone sprinting back to the South by now. I didn't see myself mountain biking or skiing or running for the board of an AIDS support nonprofit, and I definitely never imagined I'd spend money to listen to country music. But in this short time, Montana's become my home. I'm making moves to extend my service because I found part of myself out here and in this work.

Me and Bradley finish off the coffee while we talk about all the ways life surprises us, something our conversations always manage to come around to. I pack up for my next adventure, starting a new breakfast program at Butte High, and he gives me a big hug before I go. I can't wait for the ways life will surprise me in the months to come.

Haley McKnight
Montana No Kid Hungry-PRC AmeriCorps VISTA
Butte, MT