Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I didn't choose to be an American...but I did choose to be a New Yorker

"I'm so glad I live in New York City and not in the United States." - tweet from R.L. Stine, 11/2/2010

When not scaring the heeby-jeebies out of schoolchildren, RL Stine has some surprisingly eloquent insights. I couldn't have said it better than he did, which is why I'm dedicating an entry to it. It perfectly captures my sentiment as of late, especially since the last election cycle when I've thanked my lucky stars to live in a place that is essentially an island unto itself.

Lesson #41 is this: In the same way that "friends are the family you choose,' it's okay and good to gravitate towards living in a place where you feel you belong at that time in your life. I will always be a Michigander and awkward Mid-Westerner at heart. I appreciate and admire the Great Lake state and have almost entirely positive things to say and find myself OD'ing on Michigan pride (ahem, Eminem Chrysler commercial from a few months back). I miss Vernors and Oberon daily. I think about Lake Michigan often and pine for the sandy, clean beaches full of sandy blond, clean kids, especially when I'm avoiding glass while at the crowded but great Coney Island. I could go on and on, and perhaps will in another post.

I have times where I feel guilty for leaving my home state when times are perhaps the toughest they've ever been. Much in the same way teens need to get the hell out of their parents house and go to college at 18, I had the same pang to move on - for the time being at least.

But I am nevertheless thrilled to be exactly where I am right now. Living in a new place allows one to be an ambassador of your origin, but of course allows you to experience much more that you can eventually share, regardless of where you're off to next.

This Op-Ed, from the New York Times, of course, does a succinct job of explaining my sentiment over the past months, and includes the following brilliant line:

"Chance made me an American, but I chose to be a New Yorker. I probably always was." - Tony Judt

No matter how much I love and miss Vernor's, though, I can't bring myself to call it 'pop' again, against the behest of the entire Midwest. Sorry, friends/family/upbringing: soda just sounds better.

1 comment:

  1. When you come home I will fix you a cold pop with ice. Marmie