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April 9, 2007

I’m torn in half, alternating between excitement and terror.
In a few months time I could leave everything that’s familiar and all that I love.  There’d be no more cornfields or maple trees.  Winter would be a thing of the past, as would be snow angels and the need for hot chocolate.  My would would become manicured and filled with palm trees.  I’d need to buy a new bird guide.  No more thanksgivings at home because I wouldn’t be able to afford the plane ticket probably.
I could leave everything that’s familiar and go on an adventure.  I’d get to see the entire country, and that’d be just on the way there.  I’d get to see a totally different world, and live in it for just a few years.  There’d be the ocean to play in and I’d not be cold hardly at all.  It’d be a fun time, laid back in the southern California sun, where I’d get to learn wonderful things from people who are on a similar wavelength.
I’m so scared of making this decision to be alone in a strange land, but I am rather sure of one thing.  I’m rather sure that if I do chose California, it won’t be as hard as I think.  I’m rather sure that I won’t find it so impossibly strange, and that I’ll meet enough people who remind me of home that I’ll be happy and this fear will seem absurd in retrospect.
Of course, that doesn’t help me in making this decision.  I can know that I’m in love with this school and have been since I heard of it.  I can know that the two other options don’t appeal very much at all.  I can know all this, but it still boils down to the fact that I’d hardly ever be able to afford to come home to cornfields and beef stew.

I feel like a traitor to the midwest for wanting to leave.  Thing is, Ann Arbor is the only place that’d I’d really want to be.  I can’t come here because they won’t let me in, and because there’d be too many memories.  Nowhere else has the environment and the educational quality that I want, at least no where that’s let me in.  Still, though, I feel like a traitor.  Every time someone asks me incredulously why I’m even considering any other school, as though anyplace but here is far superior, it makes me want to chose Illinois just because that is a boring midwestern town.  I really do want to live in a place like that as an adult.  I’d like to live on the shore of Lake Michigan, which I think will forever be my favorite body of water, even if the Pacific has bigger waves.  This is my home and I honest to god love it, despite all of it’s faults, because I’ve got the same faults and loves.  I’m boring and simple, but I don’t see simple as a bad thing.  I hate that so many people assume that Irvine is superior to any place here, as if the midwest is a last choice for anyone with sense.  Ann Arbor is better; so is Madison.  Those aren’t options though.  Chicago is noisy and pretentious.  Champaign-Urbana is not interesting enough for my mid-twenties; it’ll be more of an option when I’m thirty.  I figure I’ll get away for a while, right now when I have a great chance to see the world from the safety of knowing that it’s only five years and when it comes down to it I won’t have free time anyway.  I can leave and see the world, and when I come back people will actually believe me when I say that Michigan is my home and I belong here.

This is depressing.

(As an interesting note, I can see how people become closed minded and ethnocentric, for lack of a better world.  I accept that other places are good for other people and try to make that clear, but I meet so many people who don’t accept that Michigan is right for me or has any merit at all, and that makes me want to lash out at them)

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