Moving to a new place can be a surreal experience. As someone who's hopped around the same state her whole life, relocating to another section of the country was a bigger leap than I initially realized. Especially since Indiana never really crossed my mind as a destination when picturing my post-grad life. When the opportunity arose I found myself packing my car with the help of my family and driving to a state I had visited less than four times.
My first impression of the Hoosier state was that it smelt like campfires. Since my move aligned with the end of fall, I caught the grand finale of leaves changing and crisp weather before the Midwest plunged into one of the coldest winters on record. If we had a conversation about my new home I probably mentioned how excited I was for a "real winter." So when the skies first dumped a foot of snow in one day my southern heart was beside itself. Then it kept snowing. Virtually everyone I've talked to (that's been here for a while) emphasized that this past winter is not the norm for Bloomington.
After a certain point the overwhelming cold paired with short daylight hours confined us to staying indoors and consequently brought on bouts of cabin fever. This summer felt like my first real chance to explore my new home and its surroundings. Turns out I'm lucky enough to be a short drive away from a handful of lakes, national parks and unique locales such as limestone quarries. Maybe you've seen Breaking Away? The cult-classic coming of age story is actually set here in Bloomington. I spent an afternoon exploring the famed limestone quarry (which isn't totally legal) - yes the one where Dennis Quaid gets "stuck" in an submerged refrigerator.
Lake Monroe and I were essentially in a committed relationship these past few months. Many Friday afternoon happy hours at the office spilled over to golden-hour swims. One evening I hiked through the woods after dark to stargaze on its shore. Our annual label summit had us camped out all day in our makeshift pontoon yacht club. This doesn't even include one-off jaunts to take a quick dip on the weekend.
There's something incredibly refreshing about being able to totally check out on a dime. Even more so when it enables you to acquaint yourself with the place you've decided to call home. I'm so thankful to live where I do and to have such incredible people in my life. Frankly, part of me is terrified to realize that I call this place home - because it means stepping away from what I've always known. But on the other hand, having that sense of ownership and carving out a life here is reaffirming and gratifying. Here's to growing roots and fall being just around the corner.
Check out this summer's highlight reel below.