Friday, February 15, 2013

The seven year itch

I moved to Michigan seven years ago. I don't know what I expected when I got here, but never did I imagine then that I would fall in love and marry an amazing man, be working at a job that I love and believe in, and have the best group of friends imaginable. That being said - I feel restless. I don't know if that will change once we have a child or if we buy a new house. But I'm starting to feel that itch that will only be scratched by a big life change.

I'll be honest - I really miss living in the Ghent neighborhood in Norfolk, Virginia. I miss walking a block to get coffee, have a cocktail, go shopping. It's nearly impossible in Lansing to essentially walk out my front door and onto a vibrant street with stuff to do. It's frustrating, and it's not change that will happen overnight.

Sometimes I want to just pack up and go to Chicago and DC where we can live in a tiny, overpriced condo in a great neighborhood and have public transit and a dynamic neighborhood right outside our door. This question, however keeps me here: "Do I want want to go somewhere that's already done and all of the placemaking work is completed or do I want to be part of the change?" I definitely want to be part of the change. And despite my restlessness, I really want to be part of the revitalization of Michigan. I want to see our communities grow. I want to be part of it. I want to help effectuate change.

That sounds so Pollyanna of me, but it's true. I love cities, and we have been so fortunate to travel and see so many great places. We'll keep doing that, and I'll keep doing my job here that I am confident is making a difference in communities. Much like Richard Sherman in the movie I'll ignore my itch to head somewhere else. I'll just dabble in the occasion DC or Chicago fantasy.

I imagine if Chicago were a city she'd be like Marilyn. Very sexy.



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