Midwest is Best: A Love Note to the Heartlands
Howdy lusty pioneers! (Idk?!) Thanks to global warming (by the way - global warming, I hate to love you), it's prematurely spring in the Chi and I'm pining for summertime and all of the romping that entails... wild, wine fueled hippie dancing on the beach, reading/lolling along the lakefront,early morning jogs past yawning lions at Lincoln Park Zoo, man hatin' appreciatin' at Danny's, attempting to submerge as much of my personage as possible into shallow hipster baby pools (the pools are shallow, not the hipsters.)... and Fat Tuesdays with my family.
In warmer months, every Tuesday is fat Tuesday, and my (mostly) blonde, blue eyed, corn fed family convenes to break bread, eat brats and hopefully not talk politics. Among my kind, unfussy tribe, I have cast myself in the role of Lovable Weirdo. Certainly, there are other artistic spirits around our table; other curious, open minds and undiscriminating hearts - don't you be puttin' my people in a Midwestern box. But I have always fancied myself "other" - more worldly, though all I really am is flighty as opposed to grounded like the majority of my family; and as my uncle passes around the meat plate, it's fun for me to be the token vague, floaty vegan. But this post is not about food politics (puhleez - been there, done that with my fam). This post is about finding home.
Do you all want to hear my wholly biased, oversimplified overview of major American cities based entirely off of my vague, floaty, vegan vibes (Rose for Mayor, 2013)? Of course I've thought about moving. I'm 25 with a wandering soul, and while I finally feel like I'm beginning to grasp my purpose (to connect, inspire and empower other women to find their collective purpose - how's that for irony?), I most definitely don't have the details sorted out. Naturally, I've considered wandering right on over to New York - greatest city in the world, right? So many of my dear, dear friends live and work/hustle there. So many leaders of the girl power, mind-body revolution are based there. But my feeling is this: you don't move to New York to be vague and floaty. You move to New York with a solid dream and you make. it. happen. The rest of us get lost in the shuffle/end up tweaking out in a convenience store while wearing a mesh shirt. Amiright?
Now West Coast... that's a city, yes? I don't believe that Los Angeles is a real place. I've supposedly been there for a total of, oh, three weeks out of my life, and I'm still not sure it exists. Why is everyone so beautiful? Is television really the only industry that matters... really? I think my problem with LA is this: I don't stick out like a sore thumb. As opposed to Chicago, where I sometimes feel like a small time celeb (granted, this is all in my head), and New York - where no one sticks out except brand ambassadors and Ipad DJs (I really can't help it), in LA... I'm just another fake blonde who's into wellness™. Everyone is a vague, floaty vegan. Madness.
At 25, I've learned this: in order to flourish, what my wandering soul really needs is sturdy Midwestern roots. Here, I can be "other", but the deeply good people I know here pull me right back down to earth. As much I love to hang out in the ozone, (pure, grasslands ozone, btw... sans pollutants/smog) life happens on solid ground. I may move for a time. I will chase opportunities as they arise. But this is and always will be my home.
Where does your soul belong? Do you hate me a little for city bashing/city neglecting? Tell me about it!