Sunday, November 22, 2015

Happy Ohio-versary to Me!

Today marks exactly 365 days since I loaded up a UHaul with a studio apartment's worth of belongings & headed back to the Buckeye State for good.

I always suspected I might end up back here, but at some point, in my seven years away, I began to wonder if it would ever really happen. When I visited home last October, I just felt it in my bones - that the time had come. I put in my 30 days' notice as soon as I got back, & in just over a month, I was living with my mom again.

I wasn't always sure it was the right decision. In the beginning, my mom & I did our fair share of arguing, & I couldn't help but second-guess my choice to move home. I knew it was a short-term stay, but it was tough to lose my space & my sense of independence after so many years of living alone. (I just wrote about this for xoJane, if you're interested.)

On top of all of that, I briefly questioned where I even liked Cleveland at all. What if I'd moved back for a city I hated?!

But from that very first day, 365 ago, I knew that coming back to Ohio itself was the right move. I missed my friends back on the East Coast, sure; I miss D.C. as a city, yes. But I don't miss living there. I don't miss the astronomical rent or the tiny apartment or the high cost of living or the unreliable buses or the sweltering summers. I loved living there, but I am a Midwesterner at heart.

As it turns out, this last year in Ohio has been one of the best of my life.

I grew closer to my mom. I got some quiet time in the suburbs. I reconnected with old friends. I started to get my finances in order. I met the love of my life (yep, I said it). I moved into an incredible apartment in Cleveland. I adopted the cutest cat in the world. I solidified my love for this city. I got a handle on my anxiety & became uncharacteristically zen & found more happiness than I have seen in a long, long time.

I loved being an East Coast girl, & I feel fortunate to have spent seven years growing, learning, experiencing all that D.C. & New Hampshire & New Jersey had to offer me. I wouldn't trade that time away for anything.

But my heart has always been in Ohio - & it's so damn good to be home.

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