Back in the winter, I decided one day that it was time to make one of my random pilgrimages to the Detroit Institute of Arts. This is, without a doubt, my favorite place in all of Michigan, and it was my first trip to the museum since both my move and the very, very dark days of Detroit's bankruptcy crisis (let's not even talk about it).
Sometime in 2013, during a vacation, I was at this same museum, in the gift shop, where the cashier asked me if I was a member. I said no; living in a different state made such an extravagance unnecessary. But I said to him--and to myself--that if and when I moved back to Michigan, I would join. On 16 January 2015, I made good on that promise.
The man at the membership desk asked if I was a resident of Wayne County, and for the first time in ten years, I could answer in the affirmative and mean it. Yes, my permanent address is in Wayne County. Yes, my mailing address is the same as my permanent. Yes, I live in Wayne County.
Later that night, after my excursion was over and I worked on this blog, all of this occurred to me in one of those weird moments that should have been earth-shaking but wasn't. Because it was the culmination of a day of being home: I'd (stupidly) made a wrong turn on the way to the museum but recovered by looping around streets I was beginning to internalize again, I'd spent time with my (imaginary) art boyfriend Vincent van Gogh's works, I'd committed to my city/county/state in a real way, and all while wrapped in my winter coat--which no longer got in my way.
It hasn't been a perfect transition, by any means. But I'm working on it. Even as my plans continue to stall out, I'm figuring out what it means to be a Michigander and Detroiter again, and that--in and of itself--is a great accomplishment, simply because I'm no longer quite as adrift as I was a year ago today when I was laid off and the ground caved in under me.