Indiana is often referred to as the Crossroads of America. Until recently I joked that this was due to the fact that if you aren’t flying over Indiana, you’re probably just driving through it. This mindset is now a thing of the past, mostly due to a very special person entering my life.
My girlfriend, Valerie, moved here from the great state of Texas. When I met her, I had wanted to go to Texas for a good portion of my life, so the idea of someone leaving there and coming to Indiana was mind boggling, to say the least. I was so perplexed that one of the first things I asked her was why she came here. Her answer was a straightforward but unique one – she wanted seasons.
Up until this point, I had thought of Spring as too rainy, the Summer as too muggy, the Fall as dead and depressing, and the Winter as a magical time of wonder (except when you need to leave the house). One out of four wasn’t bad, right? It hadn’t occurred to me that a good portion of the country doesn’t get to experience much in the way of seasons. Either of the poles is eternally frozen in time, while the southern portion of the country is an endless ball of fire for a good chunk of the year.
Valerie has since spent the last two years in Indiana, and has been a witness to the beauty of the Fall colors, felt the mugginess of the Summer, and been bitten by the frozen winds of Winter. The best part is that she’s loved every minute of it: so have I. Her perspective immediately rubbed off on me, and allowed me to see just how fortunate I’ve been to grow up in a place that’s got every season one could want.
All sappiness aside, I have realized that no matter where you live, your surroundings are exactly what you make of them. Sure, the Winter still makes me want to curl up in a ball and stay inside, and the Summer still makes me sweat before I even step out of the shower, but it also brings with it a greater appreciation of the comfort only a warm cup of coffee or a cool breeze can bring. Despite the fact that I have now been to Texas twice and I one day look forward to calling it home, I now have a much greater appreciation for the comforts that can only truly be appreciated when in this place.
If you walk away from this with anything, let it be this; create your own comforts. If it’s snowing outside and the air is freezing everything it touches, use the day to finally open up that book that you’ve been meaning to read for a year. If you’re sitting inside and bored while it’s gorgeous outside, set foot outdoors and go check out a part of town you haven’t been to. Most of all, find good company. Valerie has shown me that it’s possible to make anywhere home if you just try, and I know you can do the same.
This is only the first of many posts to come, so check back frequently. You can expect reviews of just about anything (laden with sarcasm and humor to boot), rants, and numerous pictures of the scenery the Midwest has to offer. Most of all I hope to help you realize the comforts that could be waiting right under your nose, so that you don’t waste a single day wishing you were somewhere else. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes us, as this is only the beginning!