What forces draw people to and away from their hometowns? It seems we spend most of our early years yearning to get as far away as possible, but many of us return after some time away.
In February 2016, we decided to forgo renting and become homeowners in Bath, Michigan – my hometown. I convinced Hilary that staying in the Lansing area for the time being was the right move, and we were (and still are) very happy with our choice. However, after several months of discussion and minor discontent, we realize the factors that have kept us here are no longer as strong as they once were.
Bringing vibrancy back into our lives
Recently we decided to sell our house and move to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Making the decision wasn’t easy. There are plenty of reasons behind our choice, but none are more pressing than regaining the vibrancy of life that comes from living in the city. We want walkability. We want more diversity. We want to be around people our own age for a while.
Grand Rapids is Hilary’s hometown and where I went to college. We first met in Grand Rapids, and it’s where the majority of our friends and relatives are now. The little up-and-coming city on the “west side” is authentically important to us, and all of those factors played into our arguments and the move will bring massive amount of change into our daily lives.
Saying goodbye to our first home
We’re in the process of listing our 3 bedroom, 2 bath ranch house and looking for similar sized single-family home within the city limits. Our goal is to find a home within walking/biking distance to retail, dining, and other amenities. Hilary and I know our new home will not meet all of our criteria. It will probably be a fixer-upper, more so than our currently home. Even so, we’re looking forward to tackling the challenges and reaping the rewards of city ownership. Once we find a new house, we’ll chronicle the renovations and updates here.
Change is always bittersweet. It’s not for nothing that nostalgia has such a strong hold on our collective psyche, and looking at the past through rose-colored glasses is an inviting prospect. Although it probably wasn’t intended this way, I always take the quote from Neal Walsch, “life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” as an invitation. An invitation to try something new, visit somewhere you’ve never been, or make a drastic, life-changing decision. We’re going to miss Lansing – it’s where we started our lives together. Certain friends, family, and our favorite places won’t be a constant fixture in our daily lives. But, there is so much life to still be lived up ahead.
My final thoughts on the topic of change right now: keep old friends close, and don’t let the only topic of conversation be old memories. Make new memories, keeping at least one on the horizon.