After living in the hustle of Southern California for more than a year now, taking a trip back home to the Midwest was a nice change of pace. And being around so many people who very literally only fly over those states, it can be hard to convey the charm and beauty I see in it all.
Just look at all that green. I'll admit, Orange County would have it's fair share of color if it weren't for all the concrete freeways and buildings taking up every square inch of space. But just seeing that expanse of land when we dipped below the clouds over Indy took my breath away.
I love how Indy and the surrounding areas — including the suburb I grew up in on the west side — are this combination of small town and city. And even though the weather can be crazy — especially crazy humid! — I miss the occasional thunderstorm. And the partly cloudy days with no threat of rain, just a gorgeous expanse of blue sky dotted with pure white clouds. And back roads through endless cornfields where you can be the only car in sight. And the fact that at night, it is actually dark, and you can see the stars in the sky.
I loved being able to explore the city I essentially took for granted for 22 year, a mix of repeat visits for the sake of nostalgia and new experiences.
I got to run around downtown with an old friend, eating lunch on the circle, my absolute favorite spot in the city. After hanging out at baseball game, we braved the humidity for a midnight bike ride around the canal, which has my favorite views of the small but beautiful Indianapolis skyline.
I explored the grounds of a museum that was there long before I left, and reveled in the fact that I could actually breathe outside. (I mean, seriously. You can just see the pollution in the hazy air out here in LA.)
But most importantly, I got to spend time with family and friends. Getting hugs and snuggles from little nephews who just melt my heart. Catching up with my family over homemade lasagna. Picking up right where I left off with some of my oldest and dearest friends in the world.
And knowing that no matter how far I wander, I have this amazing group of individuals who will love and support me no matter where my dreams take me.
To a lot of people, Indiana is just one of those stretches of cornfields outside their plane window. But I'll always have a special place in my heart for my little flyover state.
And I don't think I'll ever stop calling it home.