goodbye, quarter century

Dear Wisconsin –

Hey. I think I’m gonna miss ya.

Twenty four years, man. That’s quite a while to spend with you. I did have that recent extended stay in a few other states, so leaving you shouldn’t be that traumatic.

Here I sit, in my parent’s house of six years, hanging on the balcony that I’ve learned to love in such a short period of time. I don’t have a strong connection to any certain home here, I’ve had so many. Coming from a divorce with parents that didn’t have a lot of money, moving around became a mainstay in my life. Maybe that’s why this doesn’t feel so terrifying. I don’t know. Maybe I’ve been toughened up a little bit more than I realize. Thanks.

Thanks for making me appreciate things. Good weather is a big’un. I appreciate sunshine, I adore a good rainfall, and truly, I love the outdoors because of you. I cannot stand the winter, which is probably why I’m leaving. Denver has a much milder winter. Sorry, but it’s the truth. Big turn on for me.

Thanks for giving me like-minded people. I was so appreciative when I left and met such diverse people, but now I’m back and I realize that maybe seeing things similarly isn’t all that bad. Wisconsinites love the same things: a good cheese and sausage platter, yummy IPA’s, holidays that last for days (Christmas is really a four-day event here,) and we appreciate the art of the nap. I am so different than everyone else I’ve met. It’s my Midwestern charm, methinks.

Thank you for showing me my first love. It didn’t work out and it’s not pretty now, but you showed me so much of who I was for a quarter of my life. I was with a Wisconsin man. I won’t end up with that one, but who knows, Midwestern boys have a certain something about them that I like.

Thanks for well-preserving my parents. The cold must make them age a little slower. Keep that up. I want them to be around for as long as I am, and though I know that’s not possible, let’s just close our eyes and pretend for a minute.

Buh-bye, childhood. This is my adult turning point. This is the moment I’ll look back on and say, “I think the first time I really felt like I was on my own was when I moved to Denver that August.”

Goodbye, scraped knees and long nights studying and ‘I-hope-he-asks-me-to-the-dance”s. Hello, scraped egos and long nights dancing and ‘I-hope-he-actually-took-my-number”s. Let’s see the next 24 years. I think I can handle it.

Regards, Alison

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