Food for Thought and Wanderlust
I’m in transit today, after a much-needed weekend away from home, visiting good friends. As much as I have come to love where I live (much like Jane Friedman loves her adopted home town of Cincinnati, Ohio), there are days and weeks when I’m just done with it, and feel the need to escape.
road trip by breahn
The friend I visited this weekend has stated there’s a naturally occurring bacteria in our gut that secretes a substance that gives us itchy feet, the yearning to seek far-flung places and novel experiences. Really, it’s just about nutritional deficiencies and the bacteria’s attempt to get more of whatever it needs by pushing us out of our usual milieu.
Bacterium or not, I am refreshed from my weekend away. The compelling parts of Friedman’s ode to Ohio’s foremost up-and-coming cultural center are dancing around in my mind today:
It’s a peculiar disease for us Americans, to think it a failure not to move away from what we know. As a twentysomething, I wanted nothing more than to live in Europe—where I’d stayed 6 months during a study abroad—and to be done with the uncultured and ignorant USA.
It’s like all young people to think this way—to imagine that the place where we come from is stupid and beneath everything else. Eventually you realize that all places are rather the same. Or, people are the same. You just find the right circles where you can be accepted or make a difference. The rest is just details.
It took a long time to accept that I’m a Midwesterner at heart. I want to be friendly and helpful. I’m not eager to talk about myself. I prefer a laid-back, unpretentious lifestyle. While these are not qualities unique to the Midwest, I don’t reliably encounter those environments elsewhere.