Special thanks to Abby Marie for sharing her history of living in Michigan and plans for the future. Enjoy her article, originally posted on her blog, here on Pure Michigan Connect!
How ironic, the first snowfall was December 1st, perfect timing! Lately, I’ve realized how much I love the state of Michigan (and everything that goes with it, YES, I said everything)…Definitely not something I thought I’d ever hear myself mutter.
I’ve lived here all my life, but that doesn’t mean much. Most everyone I know has lived here all their years…what matters is how my attitude towards this beautiful state is transforming. Growing up in ‘Mid Michigan’ I didn’t have easy access to the abundance of lakes scattered across the mitten, I didn’t live in the city and I wasn’t exposed to an excessive amount of diversity; however, Birch Run was my home, my world, my everything. My life over the past five years has shaped my old way of thinking (and living) into a fresher more explosive outlook on this great state.
After graduating high school, I headed to Mount Pleasant to attend Central Michigan University. From what I can remember, I was exposed to an abundance of EVERYTHING, too much if you ask me. I attended my first of many parties, the economy dropped, our country was (still is) at war, GM declared bankruptcy and I was on my own. This little bubble (Birch Run) of a world I had been living in for the past 18 years had suddenly burst and I was left gasping for air.
I thought to myself, “this is a dream, the world really isn’t this cruel and demanding…is it?” I learned very quickly that life doesn’t wait for anyone; I was scared and losing confidence in our country and especially Michigan. Our fragile state was losing steam and going under. Here I am, fresh out of college, ready and roaring to go. Bring it on life, bring it on world, I’m ready for you. The truth is, life really isn’t fair. Small town America was getting hit and hit hard. General Motors workers were left with a penny in their pocket and a mortgage payment that they couldn’t make. These were my friend’s parents, people I knew and loved. I was angry and confused. I wanted out of Michigan more than ever.
My husband and I found out we were expecting in the fall of 2008. We were college graduates with no real path, and a baby on the way. We were stuck…I was stuck. I couldn’t believe I was going to be moving to Birch Run and not Chicago. My dreams, the city life, my expensive taste seemed to have taken the first flight out…next stop, mommy hood. I quickly realized we were going nowhere fast and I had to accept our situation and make the best of it. My husband, Dajuan, took a job at a hospital in Saginaw and before you knew it, baby Braylon was here.
So here we are, still! Nearly two years later and my love for this state is in full bloom. I’ve discovered a sense of pride throughout this long but rewarding journey and feel shameful for having such a pessimistic attitude. I wasn’t happy where God had placed me; I kicked and screamed the whole time. My attitude didn’t help the situation at all, in reality it distracted me from blooming where I was planted. Today, I’m happy. I love living in Michigan. I love the fact that the economy is on the upswing and our new governor elect has great ambition and plans for this state. I love that I can enjoy all four seasons without having to drive an enormous amount of hours. I love that I can witness God through the colors of the leaves in the fall and the depths of the breathtaking water on Lake Michigan in the summer. I love the friendly rivalry between U of M and MSU… I seriously love it all.
As Braylon has grown so has my love for Michigan. I want to raise my family here. I want to bloom where I am planted and enjoy every second of it. Yes, there have been hard times with more to come but what’s a good story without a dark scene? I’m thankful to live here and blessed. Michigan has humbled me in more ways than one, again, I’m thankful.
Abby lives in Birch Run, MI with her husband Dajuan and son Braylon. She spends her time working at Air Advantage LLC in Frankenmuth, MI, reading and supporting her opinions in good conversation! She loves writing and believes it is a sense of expression that provides healing in a variety of ways.