Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Happy anniversary to MI

Today’s my anniversary. Not with Sean – we celebrated 20 years of (mostly) wedded bliss in September. No, today’s my anniversary with Michigan. Eight years ago today Michigan and I began our love/hate/love relationship and we’re still going strong.

It started with love. When Sean told me about his job opportunity here, I was excited for him. I was excited for an adventure for our family. Of course, I was excited in Atlanta. Reality hadn’t exactly set in.

When we physically got here, all the love went, “Poof!” To say I was not happy with Michigan would be a massive understatement. I missed my family and friends and everything that was familiar. I hated that I didn’t know how to get places and I really hated how freakishly cold I was. A real low point came on my first birthday here – April 29. It snowed. Not. Good.

Michigan: But eventually, Michigan and I turned a corner. It took a few years. Finding a church, making friends there and in my neighborhood helped. And before I knew it, I didn’t have to MapQuest Target or the grocery store or Sean’s work each time I went there. (Let’s be real: I only had to MapQuest Target once. Some things need to be committed to memory.) Amazingly, I knew my way around. I knew the people around me. And the people around me knew me.

Being known makes all the difference.

Today I’ll be at play practice where I’m certain to hear my name called about a thousand times. Some days all those, “Mrs. Duffy!”’s make me crazy. Not today. Today, I’ll be thankful for each time I’m asked a question or told a joke or am simply greeted hello. Because eight years ago not a single soul here knew my name.

I still miss the South – I miss my friends and extended family. I miss spring in March. I miss Chick-fil-A like nobody’s business. But life here is good, too. My marriage is sweeter, my family stronger and we all have friends we'd die for. To have friends in two states I feel that way about - how blessed am I? Eight years ago I wouldn’t have believed it possible for me to type those words. After all, I’d just left everything I’d ever known, loved or held dear and moved 800 miles north. North! Who’d have thunk it?
So Michigan, happy anniversary! I was pretty sure we wouldn’t make it – looks like I was wrong. 

PS: If you'd like to do something sweet for our anniversary, could you please stop the snow? And made it a tad warmer? Thanks.