This weekend marked two whole years since we made the big journey back to Michigan from Nevada. I remember being worried about regretting our decision and expressed the concern that I may never really feel “home.” Well, the verdict is in… Turns out, you really can’t go home again. You can only go back to the place you once called home and try to make it home once more.
That is what we’ve tried to do and what we are still trying to do. Our life in Michigan is completely different from our life in Nevada. It is also completely different from our previous life in Michigan. While we were away, everything changed. People changed, places changed… we changed. We were exposed to different people, different mindsets, different cultures and we became… different. We were also away for 8 years, which is a fairly significant blip on life’s timeline, and in that time we grew up a lot. We left at 25 and 26 years old, unmarried, carefree and adventurous. In the time we were away we got married and had children and our central focus shifted from the broad outside world and the people in it, to our intimate inside world; our largest priority became our children and our family unit. We returned to Michigan at 33 and 34 with two kids in tow. Of course things changed. I feel the two years I’ve spent back in the Midwest has changed me even more. Though, we all morph into new and different people bit by bit, every single day, don’t we?
In two years, we’ve lost friends and we’ve gained friends. We’ve lost family, we’ve gained family. We created a beautiful third son. We’ve been incredibly blessed with stable jobs. We have had some really fantastic moments and some really devastating ones. If I said this journey has been horrible, I’d be lying. If I said it has been wonderful… I’d be lying. The question is; was it worth it? Was it worth leaving a place we loved to return to a place we had purposely left years before?
And my answer is… Yes. Because the good times have been so fantastically good. My children have gotten to play with their cousins much more often than they would have had we stayed in Las Vegas. To hear Truman name his cousins one by one (all 13 first cousins plus MY cousins’ children!) and tell me which ones he wants to play with next or which one is his “best friend” is priceless. Grant loves his aunts and uncles with a fierceness that I know he never would if he was to only see them once a year. Our nieces and nephews are amazing little people and we love watching them grow. Our parents have had the opportunity to watch their grandsons grow in person instead of only online. We have gotten to spend much more time with Ma (GG) who is our only remaining grandparent, my boys’ only great grandparent. We have traveled to Cleveland, Toronto, and Northern Michigan a number of times. None of those trips, or very few of those trips would have possible.
We still have moments of intense longing for our previous life. Moments where we desperately miss our friends. Moments that we wonder, “What if we hadn’t left?” When thinking about the things I dislike about living here, I have asked myself; “Have things changed that much, or is this how it has always been and I just never saw it before now?” I think we maybe expected to pick up right where we left off. We expected this place to stay the same while we had run off to change. We thought we could just “come home.” But we couldn’t. And that’s ok. Our relocation hasn’t been anything like we thought it would be. But you know what? This is life! This crazy, beautiful, confusing, surprising and maddening journey we call life. Regardless of the experience, we are in fact, “home.” Now we have to focus on making it “Ours.”