When I was a kid I resented living in the Midwest. I wanted to live somewhere cool like California or New York City. These weren’t conscious thoughts – just where my mind would go when I daydreamed. I wanted to surf; I had that mentality. I wanted to play music (back then I sang and played guitar).
I never pictured myself staying in Ohio this late into my twenties. I thought Ohio was where dreams died, where expectations were low, and where potential high achievers squandered what they had on a depressing suburban life which made demands on personal resources they could otherwise invest in their passions and/or careers.
It’s a commonly understood narrative about large swaths of the United States, all the fly-over states – that to matter you must be on the East or West coast, doing something at a high level.
I don’t know where I got this idea.
Sometimes I still think it’s true. I think there could be a better, more accomplished future version of me on one of the coasts, around other passionate people, etc.
Whether this is true or not, I don’t want to take the path of least resistance. It’s easy to get comfortable in Ohio. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad place to be. It just means you have to be on your toes.
© Daniel Douglas