When nowhere feels like home


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I’m currently experiencing this weird phenomenon where I feel very transient…almost as if I’m on some extended business/trip vacation. 

I spent the first 18 years of my life in Toledo, Ohio, a wonderful place to grow up, but a place I have zero intention of permanently returning to. I then moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I spent arguably 6 of the most formative years of my life. In April, I moved to Newport Beach, California – a complete culture shock to a born & raised Midwesterner.

The past 5 months have been a combination of Michigan, Ohio and California, and while I one point I had “homes” in all 3 states, none of them truly felt like a “home.”

It’s weird, and hard to describe to someone who has never experienced it. Similar to when I try to tell my mom that it’s hard to adjust to California and her response is something along the lines of “oh honey the weather’s so nice there you should be happy.” THAT’S NOT HOW THAT WORKS MOM.

If I had to pick one of the three I would say Michigan still feels the most like home. I know my way around without a GPS, I have favorite running routes, favorite restaurants, favorite grocery stores, the list goes on. Not to mention my friends 🙂

I was back two weeks ago and my heart was almost exploding from the joy I felt running into so many people I knew. Seeing friends (and meeting new ones), old co-workers, old classmates and Lake Michigan truly rejuvenated my soul and made me wonder why I left. But, sometimes you need to take a step back to really appreciate something…

After a whirlwind of a year in 2015 (read more about that here), I was finally starting to happily settle in 2016. Then, because goodness forbid I sit still, I uprooted my entire life and replanted it about 2,000 miles away (2,185 to be exact). I still question my decision on a weekly, if not daily basis. I’ve been quite transparent with my feelings on the move and how hard it is for me. No sugar coated lies from this girl.

I have no intentions of staying here long term – I’ll probably make it a few years. Because of this mindset, I’m struggling to even think about planting any “roots” here if I know I will be leaving. (Yes, I know that isn’t the best way to look at it, but that’s where I am).

Regardless, I decided to make the best of my time here, so I joined a beach volleyball league that starts in two weeks, and starting apply to teach workout classes again, and am already planning some more long weekend adventures (hopefully heading back to San Francisco this winter!)

Anyone else move across the country? What helped you make the transition easier?

As always, thank you so much for reading!
xo, Maddy

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1 Comment

  • Reply Elizabeth Coyle

    Maddy! First of all, I love your blog. Everything you write is so candid and honest. It’s so relatable. Secondly, you and I went to grade school together many, many years ago haha. (I was a year behind you). So I’m always really rooting for you as I read all your posts. You’re like a little hometown hero for me. Third, I did just move across the country too! I moved to Boston and I really, really have no idea what I’m doing. I’m just trying to figure it all out right now. I actually just wrote a blog post about this too! I’d love to connect with you!

    August 31, 2016 at 9:57 pm
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