It is no secret that when I graduate, I intend on leaving the Midwest. I love my home and the people there, don't get me wrong. In fact, I like to think that I have come to appreciate it even more over the past couple of years. But, I have always had more planned.
The 317 area code may be it for a lot of the people I grew up with, and there is nothing wrong with that. I actually kind of envy them. They know their true happiness is in their hometown familiarity with the sweet embrace of family, friends and memories. But I know that if I tried to conform to that, I wouldn't be truly happy.
I am a firm believer that you create happiness where you are. It is not a specific destination or circumstance. But at the same time, I think you have to recognize on a personal level where your greatest chance of happiness is. And it doesn't stay in one place. I often say I could end up in the Midwest down the road, but I know that, for me, I won't just stay in the beginning.
The only thing is, how do I know where to start?
17-year-old me would have answered without hesitation: California. Duh. San Francisco stole my heart and San Diego drew me in with it's near perfect weather 365 days a year. LA had a certain allure that I still don't know if I ever want to give a try. But the west coast was such a lovely place, with ocean and hills and so many possibilities.
Fast forward to this summer, and I am 3,652 miles away (via Route 6) from Long Beach, California. As far as the east coast goes, I had only been to Florida, Maryland, bits of Virginia and Delaware and a distant memory of New York City. But now I am six weeks deep on Cape Cod, a place that seems like it only exists in 'Dawson's Creek.' I still haven't decided if I could live here long term, but it is definitely in the running. And with great cities like Boston and Providence so close, it is a pretty good location. If only it wouldn't be a ghost town in the off-season...
Anyways, I digress. I guess what I'm saying is...I have a under a year before I have to get a real job and embrace the 'real world.' And I love so many parts of so many places that I just don't know where to begin my journey. Pacific Northwest, southwest, east coast...there are just too many possibilities for a girl with chronic indecisiveness.
I guess that's when you have to follow opportunity. And so the waiting game begins.