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I used to dream of palm trees, sandy beaches and salty air. I used to dream of being surrounded by new languages and old cultures. For as long as I can remember my mind was in love with everywhere that I was not. Despite obvious challenges, the last few months gave me the gift of falling in love with where I am. This is an ode to my home, Ann Arbor, Michigan. This is an ode to the beautiful things that we can control in a time when nothing is certain.
This summer has been a haze of confusion, a cycle of making plans and then seeing them obliterated. This was particularly painful for me, as an avid planner. I schedule everything from breakfast to an afternoon nap. Instead of immersing myself in French culture, as I had previously planned to do beginning August 1st, I have found myself immersed in Ann Arbor. It turns out I had just as much to learn here. This summer I had the opportunity to intern with a local prosecutor campaign. Not only have I learned about local politics and navigated uncharted virtual campaigning terrain, but I have explored my county. Dropping off yard signs, I discovered that not only does my county extend far beyond the bounds of what I had imagined but that these surrounding areas were stunning. Roads framed by overhanging trees casting a kaleidoscope of light below became something I looked forward to daily. Finding joy in these moments is something I can control. Once I applied the wanderlust I previously felt to my own home I began to fall in love with every moment. Following that same logic I have made it a goal to watch every sunset I can. Whether it be from the park adjacent to my house or the docks along the Huron river, this has made a huge difference in the way I have been viewing my days. I’m looking forward to making the best of the next year and discovering the most I can wherever I may be.