After we made the decision to move back to Michigan we kept talking about how when we left Michigan originally that we had this misconception that somehow the grass was greener somewhere else for us. We thought things would be better in a city. We would have more opportunity. Our business would flourish. We thought we could expand. The list goes on. It is a normal idea to believe that anywhere but where you are is going to be greater somehow. In many ways Raleigh was great, but the most important thing we learned while in Raleigh was that the grass isn’t greener on the other side. The night before we left Raleigh, Mike and I sat on the floor of our empty house eating leftover Thai food while Hayes slept. Our voices echoed in the empty house that felt so cold and far from our own anymore. While sitting there Mike said, you know the thing I realized while we lived here is that the grass is greenest where we water it. I sat and thought about this and in true Mike fashion he was right (I hate admitting it but he is right about 99.5% of the time).
I had never thought about it. There I sat with chopsticks in hand enjoying leftover Pad Thai and realizing after these 3 years we kept believing that in some way things would be better somewhere else, but instead, you have a chance to dictate whether or not where you are is where the grass is greenest. Just like a plant some plants do better in different soil than others and just like each person is an individual there are different places that fit us better than others. Raleigh wasn’t the best soil for us to grow in, which is fine. But it took us 3 years away to realize that the best soil for us was back where we started. That that was the place we had to water and invest in in order to grow our strongest, fullest, and healthiest selves.
Living here there are a lot of things we don’t have that are in stark difference to living in Raleigh where everything was at our fingertips. Life in Raleigh was easy even with a little traffic. Here though things have to be intentional especially with a 9-month-old. It takes 25+ minutes to get to a grocery store. There is no takeout within even a 10-minute drive. Our post office just around the corner is on a dirt road and only open from 10-2 every day. There is no big name shopping close by besides Target and TJ Maxx. 3 years ago it drove me nuts. All of it. I wanted more. I wanted things to be easy like they were in a big city, but after leaving here, I realized that what I needed most those places didn’t have which is the fact I look out our windows every day and it looks like a beautiful painting. The sounds we hear are birds, the wind, the ripple of the water, and the rustling of leaves more than cars or traffic. I no longer have to drive on a highway but instead take back roads that span through apple orchards, vineyards, and over hills that reveal amazing panoramic views of a lake that just fills me up every time. Life is harder here there is no doubt, but in many ways it is easier on our souls. It is greener here literally than it was back in Raleigh, but it is also metaphorically greener here for us because this is the place we are meant to flourish and grow. We love investing in those we love and want to grow here too because this is the place we have committed to be green for us.
As we left Raleigh that day two months ago, me on a plane with Hayes and Mike in a car with our dogs, I kept thinking about how I planned to make it greener here for us. How I planned to make it greener for Hayes and how our business could make it greener for anyone we came in contact with. Find ways to invest, sow good in those around us, and care for everything that surrounds us, is now our daily goal.
So, this week whenever you find yourself scrolling Instagram and wondering if the grass would be greener on the other side catch yourself and instead ask, how can I make things greener right where I am? Is your soil right for you? Have you given it your best effort to grow there?
Happy Monday friends, may you have a week of flourishing!