This past weekend, I got the rare opportunity to return home to my native land in Michigan.
The first thing I always notice when crossing that state border is all the trees and hills that seem to greet you immediately.
After living in the flatlands of Illinois, where you can see for miles around, I always feel comforted by Michigan’s lush green scenery ... It’s something I definitely took advantage of when I lived there.
Since I moved to Illinois in 2010, I’ve only returned to Michigan a handful of times. I wish I could visit more often, but it seems life gets busy, time flies and before you know it another season has gone by.
People always ask how I moved from Michigan and ended up in Princeton. I’ve told the story so many times, I now repeat it like a memorized poem … “When I graduated from college at the end of Summer 2010, I moved out here to live with my mom and stepdad, who had moved here while I was still in college. My stepdad had been transferred by his company, and that’s the reason behind their move. While living here, I got a job as a newspaper reporter, and through that, I met Nick, my finance, who farms in the area. So now it looks like I’m here to stay.”
After I graduated college, I was so burned out on school and hadn’t yet lined up a job in the field I had just spent four years studying. I needed a break after college, a breather from the lifestyle and being closer to my mom’s homemade dinners seem like a good plan.
Before I moved, I was working part-time at a Subway near where I went to school. This past weekend, during my travels, I happened to pass by the old place of employment. Seeing the building brought back a nostalgic feeling of what life was like during those last couple months before I moved from Michigan.
I was 22 years old and remember feeling more carefree, yet scared about what my future would bring. It bothered me I didn’t have a life plan written out like my fellow college classmates, but I knew whatever was meant to happen would.
There was not a thought in my mind I would end up becoming Princeton’s newest local reporter. Of course, back then I wasn’t even remotely ready for that type of gig. While I was finishing my last year at Michigan State University, it seemed all I was good at was making footlong tuna fish sandwiches and praying for school to end.
I didn’t feel professional, and certainly did not have a grasp on things like city council meetings, elections and feature story ideas — something I now know like the back of my hand.
I also sported crazy blonde hair, a fake piercing in my lip and some days wore thick black hipster glasses, just to feel different. A much different person than people know me as today. While I cringe at what I used to look like, there are no regrets, as I feel it was just a part of growing up and maturing.
As I was driving back from Michigan on Sunday, I thought about those crazy memories before moving to Princeton. They remind me of how far I’ve come in life, how much maturing I’ve done in four years and ALL the new things I now know and have experienced through my career as a local reporter.
BCR Staff Writer Goldie Currie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.