Leaving CA with no ache in my heart

I’ve tried to be pretty candid about my move from California to Michigan. The most common response I’ve noted has been the scrunching up of concerned person’s eyes and nose, followed by, “Oh my GASH. Don’t you miss home?” I want to say yes for their cute little Michigander benefit.

By answering as much, they will relax and know that by missing home, I have a nice family I can count on, a dog, and lots of friends.

If I say no, it sounds sad and bitter. The odd thing about sharing a painful family life is that most people have an unwavering optimism in people and families. They will listen to your story and they will brand you as dramatic, ungrateful, or simply, a liar.

I don’t miss my family. I only kind of miss my dog, but even Truffle, our golden Aussie, with her inability to dodge glass doors or muster a proper bark, sort of failed to endear herself to me.

I don’t miss my home, where my licentious snake of a mother would frame photos of my brother and I, to prove to the outside observer that we were so happy and well-adjusted. Anytime I could grab and hide a frame, I would. She’d bark at me, “Why the HELL would you stick this into the broom closet?” If I had I been more assertive, I would have loudly expressed how pathetic and infantile her framed testament to our lives were.

You know what I miss? Cascading bougainvillea and palm trees juxtaposed against drought tolerant landscaping. A low golden setting sun. Just little moments. I don’t want to have those images frozen into my daily life. It’s mostly the ephemeral nature I appreciate. I miss the citrus and avocados too, but from what I’ve read of citrus greening disease and the recent avocado shortage, it isn’t entirely sustainable to enjoy either anymore.

It’s okay to not miss where you come from, I’m realizing. My boyfriend will suggest we sneak into the hot tub at our local ski resort during heavy snowfall because he’s a Michigander, and he lives for this shit. I will put up a huge fight, because, “my Southern Californian body can’t deal with the temperatures here, you asshole!”

Although, when we’ve both finally slipped into the steaming water, after splitting a Stroh’s beer(which I highly recommend, because it’s crisp and clean, just like Northern MI air) I totally get life up here.

I’m really happy I left California, even if to some, I shouldn’t be. To wrap this thing up, I give you my it’s-okay-to-not-miss-your-fucked-up-family-or-dog-or-home-you-left-behind blessing.

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