When I'm asked "where are you from?" I give the whole story. For some reason I can't shorten it. I feel the importance of explaining it to everyone who asks, because it carries weight with me. This story, and answer to their simple question is why I am the way I am today.
My family lived in Fenton, MI and moved to Grand Blanc when I was six. I spent most of my life there, until I graduated from high school. That same Summer, my parents decided to relocate to Northern Michigan. I had a choice. Move out and claim that independence that every young adult wants, or follow them. I have always been different, not wanting to run away, but truly loving my home life. The comforts of it, my family, the familiarity. My choice was an easy one to make: I was going with them. They moved into their cabin in Wolverine, MI and I was accepted into nursing school in Petoskey. I couldn't believe my "luck." Living there felt more like a retreat than normal home life. I was surrounded by nature, I spent my days off at the beach. The simplicity of this suited me. So much that it quite honestly, changed my life.
After just a few years in Wolverine, I considered that to be my home more than anywhere else. That is where I come from. The time spent there shaped me in so many ways. This place, with a population of a few hundred, and more land than I had the time to explore, is my home. I found out that I loved being a part of nature there. I walked through the woods daily, alone, taking in the calming aspects of the outdoors. I had so much time with my thoughts, and I knew what I wanted after that. I started exploring Northern Michigan, where the small towns charmed me, and the lake life became a part of my being. I also began traveling at that same time, and realized that wanderlust was a real thing. I knew after one trip that I would never stop seeing the world, and I would bring my future family along with me. That became very important to me. This same small world was where I began to really pursue photography. When work at the hospital was slow, I would find myself researching how a camera operates, so that I could thoughtfully record the natural details from my walks. So many of those memories have had a lasting, rippling effect on my life.
Looking back, and being in Michigan this week , I can see how old decisions shaped me into the person that I am today. I spent time the other day wondering who I would be, had I not moved to Northern Michigan. I'm not so sure that I would be blogging and adding my favorite pictures of all of my favorite places. I'm not sure I would have become a travel nurse, or met my husband from Petoskey, MI. I'm not really sure who I would have been, had I not followed my heart and been open to any new opportunity that came my way.
I know who I am today, I know who I want to be for my lifetime, and I know where I am going. I honestly believe that all of these certainties stem from living in Northern Michigan and always working towards my dreams.
"the two most important days of your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why." - Mark Twain