Tag Archives: Indiana

Back Home Again in Indiana

I realized something as I drove home on Sunday, with the sun setting in my rear view mirror and the Indiana cornfields sprawling for miles in every direction.

This would be my last time coming “home” to Indiana.

Two days before, we signed a lease on an incredible townhouse in one of my favorites neighborhoods in St. Louis. We filled out paperwork, wrote checks, and asked all the important questions like “Do you think the king-sized bed of our dreams will fit up those stairs?” (The answer, sadly, is most likely not.)

Indiana, and Indianapolis in particular, has been spectacularly good to me. I’ve met more wonderful people and experienced more incredible things than I ever knew could be possible.

Indiana is where I started my first grown-up job. I learned that I actually could make it in the real world. I’ve grown professionally in more ways than I can count and was tapped for my first real position as a writer. This company has put a lot of faith in me in the last 3.5 years–a faith they’re continuing to show as I transition to working remotely. I’m so grateful for their support and encouragement as I tried (and continue trying) to find my footing in the corporate environment I suddenly found myself in.

Indianapolis reconnected me with my passion for volleyball and showed me how much I love teaching this incredible game. The opportunities I had through Team Indiana have opened my eyes to a whole new world of volleyball. The people I met through the organization, not to mention my girls themselves, welcomed me with open arms and taught me to become both a better player and coach.

Indiana brought me Ben. It brought me our dog Sansa. It brought me memories and happiness and friends to last a lifetime. I can say with confidence that I’ve laughed a whole lot more than I’ve cried here–something that cannot be said about all the places I’ve put down roots.

That drive on Sunday brought me back to the first time I “drove home” to Indiana. I was 22 years old, scared out of my mind, and truly going out in the world for the first time. I definitely cried more than I laughed that first weekend–maybe even those first few weeks–alone in that one-bedroom apartment. Those two drives down the exact same roads could not have been more dissimilar. The first had me driving toward uncertainty. The last I drove with our dog in the backseat, on my way back to a city full of people I’ve grown to love.

And sure, we’ll be back again. Probably more times than I’d like. We’re still working our same jobs, most of our friends are here, and Ben’s video contacts here mean a lot of his production work will still be in Indiana.

It won’t be home, though. Not again. But this place, this city, these people will always hold a special place in my heart.

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Have You Voted?

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Indiana thinks I count.

I don’t (and probably never will) write a lot on here about politics. I have my opinions just as you have yours, and I don’t see this space as a good place to hash out our differences.

But today is different. Today is the day when we all come together and decide the future of not only our country, but also our states and local communities. There is more to this election than Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. There are Senate and House races, gubernatorial (which is possibly my favorite word in politics, ever) races, and even races to decide who will judge our court cases and who will run our schools as superintendents.

Choosing not to vote is choosing to say “I don’t care about the people in my country, my state, or my community. What happens to them doesn’t matter to me, so they’re on their own.” It’s like giving a big “F you” to the people counting on us to make the right decisions that will affect all of our futures.

I don’t care that you are sick and tired of all the political ads and mudslinging that have accompanied this campaign season. You aren’t the only one, I promise. I know. It’s a nightmare to listen to the same ads over and over again, both at the local and national levels, and we’re all ready for it to be over. But there are two very distinct paths laid out for our country, and it’s up to all of us to decide which path we are going to follow.

Please. Just go out and vote. It doesn’t matter to me if you vote the same way I did or have entirely different views. That’s the beauty of democracy–we are all entitled to our opinions, and we have the amazing opportunity for those opinions to be heard. But you actually have to show up first.

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