Leaving the Midwest

I am finally ready to share my story. So welcome to my revamped blog. I recently gained confidence that my story is worth telling after finishing my thesis for my Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction (I graduated last week!). See, I am from conservative Indiana. Yet for the past six years, I have lived in the liberal bubble of Washington, D.C., alongside loads of people who attended Ivy League schools or grew up in the Northeast. So I avoided sharing many details about past with anyone except my boyfriend and closest friends.

Then I realized that many people in D.C. don’t personally know anyone who voted for Trump. And almost every member of my family is a Trump enthusiast.

Me as little kid
Me as a little kid growing up in the woods of Indiana

This is me. I grew up in the woods. We were poor (see Exhibit A: my dad’s rickety Ford truck parked on the hill behind me that he used for landscaping jobs). We hauled in logs for our wood stove until I was in high school, not because we were quaint country folk who appreciated working with our hands, but because we couldn’t afford central heating. My brother—who is two years older than me—and I qualified for reduced lunches in school, but we were often too embarrassed to use it.

In order to assimilate in D.C., I always thought I needed to cover up my past. That I needed to keep my head down. But pretending gets old. And I am tired. Each time I laugh when someone says “white trash,” I feel like strips of myself are being snipped off like edges from a yard of fabric. When The New Yorker claims, once again, that the working poor brought about the rise of Trump, even though the statistics say otherwise, my heart screams.

I need to talk about where I’m from.

I am a bridge between these two worlds, which seems rare these days, especially during these horribly polarized times. Maybe it’s not that rare, though. Maybe it’s that none of us are talking. I want to do what I can to spread some semblance of understanding between these two worlds. Because, to be honest, I consider myself a liberal, but liberals are driving me crazy lately.

A lot of conservatives claim that liberals are out of touch with normal people. Here’s the thing—we are out of touch. Ignorance and hatred flow from both sides. And boy, I am excited to call bullshit.

This blog will also cover other fun topics such as:

Rubix Cube
Ruby, our adorable white pit bull
  • Raising a rescue pit bull named Ruby, a.k.a. the best dog on earth
  • Plants that are not succulents
  • Longterm relationships and finding ways to navigate that terrain on your own terms, not those set up by social media
  • Plays that I write (I am trying my hand at playwriting)
  • Road trips and camping adventures in the Midwest and elsewhere

Hang on to your britches. Here we go!

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