Sunday, November 7, 2010


Because I made the decision to move out of Detroit, and I wanted to take a job in glamorous LA, and I had all these plans for a life that was bigger and better than the suburban boredom of my youth, I never allowed myself to miss home.  (I grew up in the suburbs, but I usually just say Detroit - or Michigan - for simplification purposes.)  And for the most part, I don't actually miss Michigan.  I miss my family and my favorite little haunts (Moosejaw, The Duck, Dunkin Donuts coffee) occasionally, but it's pretty much a "been there, done that" thing for me. 

So it struck me the other day when I was talking to my best friend from high school who also lives in LA.  She moved out here after a year or so in Paris and some other various traipsings across the globe, while I moved here for a job that was going to get me out of Ohio.  She was telling me how much she missed Michigan.  The cider mills, the changing leaves, the snow, the pace, her family.  How could she miss Michigan when she's been to so many other great places?

I feel guilty every time I say I'm homesick because I know that I could be back in the Midwest right now.  I was laid off twice in two years (hello financial crisis) and could have seized those opportunities to change up my life and head home (Chicago or Detroit) with my tail between my legs.  But something was keeping me in California.  Something inside of me was telling me that I had things to take care of and accomplish in LA before I could go anywhere else.

In what has been a never-ending quest to rationalize all that I've done (and not done) in the six years since I graduated from college, I find myself taking a tally.  Especially now that I've decided to go to my ten year high school reunion when I'm back in Detroit for Christmas, I've been mentally making a list of all the things I've accomplished, what I value and who I've become. 

I don't have the typical trappings or milestones of a lot of my peers.  I'm not married, I don't have kids, I don't own a home, I haven't traveled the world.  But I will have run four half-marathons, I have made incredible friends, I captained a kickball team for five seasons, found an industry I'm passionate about, lived thousands of miles away from my family on my own, had crazy silly adventures and am just months away from finishing business school.  And a lot of that would not have been possible if I still lived in Michigan. 

When the weather gets cooler, the days get shorter and the holidays draw near, I undoubtedly get homesick and feel guilty about it.  Luckily this year I'm actually going home for Thanksgiving to see my family, godparents and cousins.  It's a short trip but my homesickness is mildly ameliorated by the fact that I can be there when it matters.  And as a bonus, I do believe both The Duck and Franklin Cider Mill will still be open. 

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