I saw a post by a fellow author about how "Art-Friendly" the state of Colorado is. She feels that moving there was a great choice creatively as well as for her family. The pictures of the scenery are certainly breathtaking and I have heard the number of festivals and events celebrating the arts are larger in Colorado than many surrounding states but it made me think about my own choices. I have moved a couple times and traveled more in search of that one place or person or thing that makes me feel complete. Ultimately I have had to sit down and realize, it was within me all along.
When I traveled to Japan, both in high school and even more significantly about nine years ago, I absorbed a culture and language I find both challenging and beautiful. Taking the time to learn the train system, risking rides I wasn't totally sure about the destination of and walking along streets with names I couldn't pronounce gave me experiences I can never replace nor repeat. I loved every second of those trips.
Volunteering in Australia was life altering. It was a time in my life I needed a dramatic change and it led to a heartbreaking moment that caused me to fully face myself and find a way to be alright with who I am. I hated that feeling. I also wouldn't change it for anything in the world. The same can be said for my brief stint in St. Louis, MO. I truly disliked living there. My roommate was a nightmare and I escaped every chance I got but it is also the place I first began writing again.
Finally I got to Vegas. After living much of my life in the green lands of Michigan, surrounded by the lakes and kissed by the sun within the smells of fresh cut grass, pine trees and natural woodlands how could I possibly find inspiration in the constant brown of the desert? The fact of the matter is I found more than just inspiration, I found myself. I spent most of my life feeling suffocated and like a puzzle piece that accidentally got put away in the wrong box. When I made it to Vegas I was scared but I was also home. There are more than just shades of brown in the desert. I have found the entire spectrum here. I brought with me all of the places I traveled and the experiences I have had. I kept in my heart the friendships that have helped me and opened my life to finding new moments I could share with the world. Colorado may be the artistic haven some seek and so may Michigan or Japan. The most important thing I ever discovered was that my perfect and completing place, person and thing I spent so long searching for is right inside me and always will be.