Three weeks ago roughly marked the one-year anniversary since the move back to Michigan.
It is the second time in my life I have moved back to the state of my birth. This time is vastly different.
After my third grade year my dad moved us to South Carolina. I visited Michigan through those seven or so years, but I never felt like South Carolina was my home. I can’t say the same about the Wisconsin-Michigan connection. Looking back over the past year, I do miss being in Wisconsin.
There’s a litany of reasons why and I don’t believe I should dig through all of them in this space. A lot of my impressions of people who inhabit this state still ring true for me. I feel as though I’ve grown apart from some of the attitudes and mannerisms from many people who live in Michigan.
People here are nice, but they’ll turn on a dime on you, too. They’re quick to confront what they perceive is a slight to their pride or their perceived possession, and many times than not, it’s in a not-so-tactful manner. If something doesn’t go right, it’s angry complaints and putdowns. And they will go on and on and on and on about it, essentially to no resolution. Or, until you’re willing to concede total victory to their way of thinking or what they want done.
Conversations don’t seem to be centered around what’s good about life, what’s working right and if it’s not working right, and if something is not quite right, what can be done through compromise and improvisation to make things work the best they can for everyone. Conversations here seem to be a competition more than anything – who has it worse and how much longer can you filibuster than the other person.
The move has been good for a few reasons – the opportunity to be there for my mom, the opportunity to be there for my wife’s family, the wants of my kids to be closer to family and the same for my wife.
Personally, this was an OK move in terms of family and what I should have expected when it comes to friends – I had none, have none and will continue to have none – and, thus allows me to focus on my work/hobby.
Professionally, this was a lateral move, exchanging a sports editor slot at a small daily for another. Navigating the forces at work has been several describers, and looking back at the past year, I feel I’ve let myself down more than anything.
The question now is, where do I go from here? What is the next step? Past approaches have been to continue to work within the confines of others’ expectations. I do that while pushing myself to be better than the day before, or at least try to work out of a rut that I feel that I’m in.