A Happy New Year-Mas

When I moved to Ohio, I shoved that which I could of my Floridian life into boxes and bags and crevices in the back of my car. This also included a saint of a friend who made the trip up with me and two cats in carriers. I drive a tiny Nissan Versa hatchback. That said, while roomy enough, it’s certainly not enough to fit an entire 27 ½ years of accumulated belongings into and much had to be left behind. Included was most anything Christmas – save for my old little tree skirt, assuming I’d buy a tiny tree and call it done for the year.

But then I bought a medium sized tree and some lights; I figured I ought to decorate the thing and, lo and behold, came upon a tutorial to make golden snitch ornaments for just a few dollars. Well, given the theme of my living room and the fact that I have shiny gold couches, it seemed obvious I needed to make it happen. So one very long evening later (and a following long morning detailing wings later), I had thirty golden snitches. I bought silver garland for and made my own cheesy wands as I had done in years past and found a golden deer ornament that I affixed to the tree top. Essentially, the greatest little nerd tree that could.

Then, someone spectacular sent me a box of blue and silver decorations and the rest, as they say, is history.

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Chapter I: A Like Letter to Ohio

To My Dearest Ohio,

It’s been nearly two months. I kept intending to write you, but, you know, the holidays and all. Time flies when you’re getting lost in a new city, meeting new people, adapting to a completely different climate, and learning two new jobs (smooshed into one actual position). But I can’t complain, not really.

For all your aches and pains, your lights that seem to make no sense whatsoever, the fact that you’re so cold that my remaining Florida anti-freeze often freezes in my tank (and, when I forget that, even if it is liquid in the tank, that it freezes upon meeting my windshield), that I’ve learned every pothole on my daily routes by heart, there’s a charm about you all your own. Like the fact that people seem to be proud of this little town, of its traditions, its teams. From someone whose tradition revolved around the tourism industry, this is a sharp difference. Not that such an industry in its own right isn’t a fair one. I did my time in the industry and loved every moment, every crazy tourist story, every shift, watching people alight as they saw with their own eyes that which they had only seen on television or in ads. It too is a beautiful thing and I miss it all so very much, especially around the holidays.

All the same, there is much about this part of my new world to love. A fish out of water, I am simply put, very much one, indeed. However, the human species is nothing but resilient and unyieldingly adaptable. I have faith in myself that I will be able to beat my way through this new jungle, emerging with a few bumps and bruises (and I mean it, I already bruised a bone at work!), but a better warrior all the same. There were those who, when they heard news of my departure, scoffed, giving me an expiration date, claiming that weeks or months in, I would be knocking back on Florida’s door. Almost two months in, Ohio, and while you are certainly no Florida, you have that which Florida does not.

Most notably, seasons and while we are firmly planted in Winter, I have no doubt that, as the weather shifts, I’ll appreciate that they exist. And that, perhaps, it won’t play Florida’s game of thirty degrees one day, eighty degrees the next. Now, however, days away from Christmas, with Fall behind and Winter sticking around, I have learned the joys of crunching fall leaves, of the extreme delight found in crunching fall leaves covered by squishy snow, and of the simple joy of that squishy snow – just… not driving in it yet (although, side bar, driving in light snow in the dark is quite akin to Star Trek’s vision of warp speed and there’s something quite fantastic in that alone). Not to mention, I am finally getting to use the scarves I have slowly collected over the years and never used in Florida – save the two days you could justify it by the sixty-five degree high. Boots are the norm when out and about and sweaters are practically uniform; the standard basic girl Fall attire. Finally, I understand it all and my closet is full of long sleeves, while my former daily attire – t-shirts – are tucked away in back and only worn with a long-sleeved shirt beneath them. Even then, those shirts are still very likely to be hidden beneath a sweater, serving solely as another layer to keep those vital organs comfortably warm.

Such is life in you, Ohio; I’m beginning to really like it here. I’ve met a small group of fantastic people, work among great company and mentors from whom I am beyond excited to learn, and am finally settling in to apartment number two (yes, two, but that’s a story for another day) to the point where it has begun to truly feel like home.

I may well be the Anti-Snowbird (she who flies North for the winter, while all those with common sense fly South) and I may not be the only one, but damn if I’m not the Anti-Snowbird who could and lest I become a popsicle, am the one who damn well will.

Until next time,

Your Favorite Floridian

PS. To thine dear family and friends who know who I am and what it is I do, I will not be naming myself, my town, my workplace, or my work and will not be speaking in any great detail about my life here. Know that I am well and that the internet is a very public place; these are details that needn’t exist in public space. Should you want to know more about what I’m doing or how I am, feel free to contact me eight thousand other ways, for you have the power. For anyone else who stumbles upon this? Have fun.

PPS. Find me on Facebook!