It’s not you, it’s me

Dear Columbus,

We have to talk. Don’t get me wrong, the last three years have been great. We’ve shared some good times and some even better food. That’s right, I’m looking at you, Northstar Cafe! Anyway. The thing is, I think I should be seeing other cities. There’s somewhere else: Chicago. Now I know what you’re thinking — so maybe it’s the third biggest city in the country instead of #16, but trust me, it’s not stuck up about it. It’s cool. Really cool. Freezing, actually.

You’re going to be fine without me; there will be other unemployed journalism majors! Lots of them, probably. You’ll find someone else to explore Clintonville and the Short North, and try out all the OSU campus pizza places. I’ll never forget all the times we had together, or the baked goods from Mozart’s. And tomorrow morning before I leave you, I’m stopping at Spinelli’s on my way out the door.

I’m not sure how much I’ll miss OSU game days. I’m sure you understand. And if it’s any consolation, I am told Chicago has zero good college teams.

I still love you like a mid-sized city in the midwest. And don’t worry, we’ll always have Surly Girl. Hugs,

-Meryl

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No good at goodbyes

This week I’m saying goodbye to people I love in Caldwell and Columbus, and it’s not been easy. I pretty much got to see most of the people I’d hoped, and this past week was amazing. I’m a little scared, but I’m also feeling really supported and lifted up by all the people I’ve been lucky enough to know during my life so far in Ohio.

I suspect an entire movie could be made about what has happened and been said to me in the last week, but I have to keep telling myself the adventure is just getting started. The warm feelings for my hometown I’d been writing about continued, if not increased, as the week went on. And maybe I’m just on a southeastern Ohio high (a common affliction, I’m sure), but I’ve found myself thinking that once all this Chicago business is done, maybe Caldwell wouldn’t be such a bad place to settle down. I can hear my Columbus friends and family dropping their jaws in horror. Anyway, it would really depend on what kind of job prospects I’d find and that is yet to be determined by how I spend my time in Chicago. A lot of decisions depend on events that haven’t taken place yet, which I guess is true of anyone else’s life.

All I know is, Caldwell is not a normal town. When you make friends there, you make friends for life, whether you like it or not. I still see my three closest friends from school on a regular basis, and even though that won’t be the case for the foreseeable future, I know I’ll still be in touch with them. I’ll always care about what’s going on in their lives, their children and their marriages, their dreams for the future. My dad has always had a knack for keeping in touch with old friends from grade school, and I remember thinking as a kid I hoped I’d be so lucky. I’m not sure if that’s an inherited trait or a learned practice, but in any event, I think my wish came true on that one.

This is the cheesiest post I’ve had in a long while. But since I’m moving out of the state for the first time in my life, I hope you’ll forgive a little excessive nostalgia.