I didn’t want to be here in Fort Wayne. I didn’t want to come back to Indiana after college. It took me two years, a wedding, and a house of my own to stop wishing I were somewhere else and finally put my feet down on the ground. I heard a saying around that time, Bloom where you’re planted, and it stuck with me. I settled down and settled in–for a while, anyway.

Some time over the years, the restlessness crept back into my soul and the wanderlust returned. Maybe they were never really gone but only buried, simply to resurface after time eroded the heaps of denial under which they had been interred.

In any case, the desire to be somewhere–anywhere–else keeps sneaking back into my thoughts. Over the last few months, however, a tentative appreciation for my geographic circumstances has begun to act as a counterbalance. The reason? I’ve begun to see the community through the eyes of others in ways both grand and slight:

  • Family members in town for a wedding who were surprised and pleased to find two festivals and a downtown concert taking place;
  • Respected associates who presented the city to me in ways I hadn’t considered;
  • A worldly aunt and uncle whom I adore picking up a local magazine at my house and reading about the area with delight and appreciation;
  • A new acquaintance who really believes the city has the right “bones” to be something great.

I could give several more examples, but I think I’ve made my point. The difference between how I feel today and how I felt 20 years ago is that I now realize I have room for both; my desire to experience the world beyond Fort Wayne, Indiana, and the ability to appreciate the community in which I live do not have to be mutually exclusive.

A large part of the overarching theme of this blog, effectively connecting with others, is predicated on knowing where you stand. (Know thyself, right?) I’ll always seek the new and different the world has to offer. I’ll always be drawn to secret and not-so-secret treasures that reside outside of my ZIP code, regardless of where I live. So why not enjoy where I live, too? At the moment, Fort Wayne is where I’m planted, and I’m finally ready to bloom.

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