Here in Michigan we are on the very cusp of what I consider to be the best time of year. The heat and humidity are starting to dissipate and the leaves are about to so slowly begin to change colors. We are in the first week of college football season and I can begin to wear my maize and blue colored shirts again, even if it is only the short-sleeved ones. I am patiently awaiting the cool air when I walk to my car in the morning. So far, it’s still too humid. I am a bit premature in that anticipation, but, a girl can dream. Fall is really the best part of living in Michigan. The Winters here are dismal, disheartening and disgusting. Did I forget any other “D” adjectives? The Spring, the whole 2 weeks of it we get is sloppy and wet and the Summer is usually just… alright. Humid and hot, though this year it has been relatively mild in comparison to past years in the mitten.
Now, reading that first paragraph about my feelings of mediocrity towards Michigan, you wouldn’t think I was born here, lived here my whole life and had family here. Well, I fooled you. My roots are here and they always have been. I am a Michigan girl through and through. Recently though, that has seemed to be waning. My once beaming pride for the state shaped as the most integral part of Winter clothing that I call home has become diluted. Instead of finding happiness, contentment and pride within the confines of the mitten I find it suffocating, saddening and sigh-worthy. You see, a little less than 3 years ago now, my father and step mom moved to North Carolina. At first I was less than thrilled because who would want to leave Michigan? It’s got all 4 seasons (in theory). All of our family is here. I’ve never known anything different. It took a while for me to cope but I have since been down a total of *counts on fingers* 4 separate times and I see now, why they moved.
When I was a student finishing my undergrad at Eastern Michigan University I had convinced myself that if I didn’t have something or someone to hold me back when I graduated I would consider transferring down there for graduate work. Well, lo and behold I just so happened to stumble across this wonderful human being that has made me feel like I am the luckiest girl on Earth and almost 2 years later we are still in Michigan. No, don’t get me wrong. He hasn’t “held me back” but we were both born with a hypothetical “Made in the Mitten” stamp on our butts and it’s a scary thought to relocate. Both of us have all of our family here and we’ve never known any different. Things have changed recently, though. It happened almost as suddenly as the seasons change here. On one of our trips down to North Carolina to pick up Arrow (for adorable photos see earlier posts) we both kind of looked at each other and said, “What if??” It seems crazy, I know. Trust me…
At first we thought it was the romance of enjoying a new state. We had a blast, we stayed rent free at my parents’ beautiful farm-house at the foot of the mountains. We were able to wear long sleeve shirts and jeans and be comfortable in the dead of Winter. Where we come from that’s asking for hypothermia. We didn’t think too much on the topic. Until one day my dad mentioned to me that my step mom had the inside scoop on some companies that were hiring. You see, she does HR and she has a whole network of professionals that let her know when positions open up. The more we investigated, the more we realized how much more of an ideal situation North Carolina is. The housing market is much more affordable than in Michigan. Why? I have NO absolutely NO idea. In North Carolina, a state that has a more desirable climate, scenery, etc the houses are going for cheap. So cheap. In Michigan, with the same budget spectrum as that of North Carolina I am lucky to find a couple of foreclosed crack houses. I know that sounds harsh… but the struggle is real, people.
Now, here’s the other motivating factor to my location crisis, if you will. I am 26. I want to get married, have a family (I think) and have my own space again. I have lived on my own, moved home and lived at my mother house for the better half of 3 years now, and I have regretted it every moment, of everyday since. Due to circumstances that were brought down on me, I am here again. Living somewhere that was never truthfully “home” to begin with. As if this decision was not already particularly difficult to begin with I love my job. I graduated in December and I was hired at a software company in February. I got REALLY LUCKY. This place is a place that people only dream of working. I bring my dog to work, everyday. That’s the biggest perk. The people are AH-Mazing. Everyone is friendly, sincere and open-minded. The people here have become my family. Let’s be honest. Every single one of them. I can’t just leave my job where I have the opportunity to grow and evolve and make new friends and experiences with this company for the unknown.
You see, here’s another fun fact. I am a type A, grounded, planner. I am a control freak when it comes to planning my day, my time, my free time and my work day. I plan everything. And I write it down in calendar or “To Do List” formatting at least 2 times for any given day. So the fact that I have a steady and enjoyable source of income here in the mitten is something I CLING TO. The thought of leaving it all behind to start fresh and to not be guaranteed any of that scares the living day lights out of me. Financially, it would be a huge risk. A big one. Emotionally it’s a bigger risk to stay here in this God forsaken wasteland of a state that I have grown to loathe and resent every moment of everyday. I need direction. I need someone to tell me it will be alright to do this. Or, to tell me that I would be foolish to leave this place that I’ve called home for almost 27 years. (has a mild panic attack that I am indeed 27 and living at my mothers) I really have no other option than to hear the stories of others who have braved it and to have faith that I will end up where it is right for me. I need to hear first hand experiences.