Monday, August 9, 2010

I have to say this.

I grew up in Indiana. Northwest, in Hobart, next to Gary. I thought I grew up in the state of Chicago. We were south of Lake Michigan and had the Dunes National Lakeshore nearby. When I was younger, I was embarrassed by the corn fields and "the Midwest" stereotype, and couldn't wait to leave. Typical for young people. The grass is always greener, etc. But now I know better- because people in the Midwest are content, they are honest and they are loving. Not all of them, but the ones I know. My family, my friends. Not perfect, but I know them. I trust them.

Growing up in Indiana- I was not deprived of culture. I cannot stand when people assume that if you're from the Midwest you are somehow "lacking." How dare you. How dare you say that if someone stays in the Midwest it means that they don't know any better? That they don't have the benefit of your wisdom, your knowledge, your...whatever. What is it that they think we missed in Indiana? Art? Had it. Education? Had it. Diversity? Had it. Music? Had it. Scenic landscape? Had it. Water? Had it. Sports? Had it. I cannot think of what was missing. Snobs? yeah- they were there. Racism? Yup. Liberals? Yup. Conservatives? Yup. Religion? Yup- all of them.

I have lived all over the country and there are commonalities- the rich, the poor, the ignorant, the well-meaning, the shallow, the bigoted, the martyrs, the drunk, the lazy, the hard-working, the people I wish I could be more like.

Was my life perfect in Indiana? No. Would I move back there? Absolutely. It's not an option for me, but given the chance- I would. The smell of the corn in the summer, the apples in the fall. The bitter wind in the winter and the sound of the robins in the spring. I would go back.


Roberta Adams said...

Wow, you must have had a potent prompt from someone or something. I love it when you get wildly expressive. And we're not ready for you to move away yet.

Sassy Sissy said...

You're such a great writer!