This December will be the 10th anniversary of me living in Wisconsin. It is the longest I have EVER lived in one state and with 6 of those years in Milwaukee, it's the longest I have ever lived in one city. I know it is early but I've begun my reflections.....
I think it hasn't felt that long because the change from high school to college and then the abundant number of apartments I lived in throughout college and post-college. I've honestly spent a lot of hours of my life thinking about all the moving I've done and what impact it has on me, and my "conclusions" are inconclusive. Half of me says it's made me a better person and half of me says it's mentally twisted me beyond belief. One thing for certain is that it takes me less than a week to pick up on unique accents.
I've tried analyzing different people from the different places I've lived and yet again, I reach no good conclusions. Each place I've lived was during a different developmental phase of my life, so comparing is not apples to apples. All of this thinking only leads to generalizations and stereotyping.
Over the past 10 years I've learned how much of a bandwagon jumper I am. I mean, think about it.....I root for the Badgers, the Packers, and the Brewers, yet I've spent a lot of time outside of Wisconsin. I try to tell myself that I was too young before I moved here to understand sports, but Wisconsin was still not where I was raised. It's just not worth the torment to root for anyone else around here.
Since we moved so much during my childhood, my brother and I face a unique dilemma that many people never experience. For lack of a better word, we get bored very quickly. And I don't mean on a daily basis, but more like we don't really experience complacency like most people, I'd say. We certainly don't have a large fear of change.....I just had an AH-HA moment....
Fact: during my childhood, I experienced a lot of change. Change in culture, in friends, in towns/cities, in schools, in people, in food, etc., which made me learn how to adjust and cope with changes. MAYBE that's why Industrial Engineering is just right down my alley. In my field, I initiate, manage, sustain change. Who better to have that role than someone who is essentially an expert. ;) Note to any youngsters reading this who have moved a lot during a young age: become an Industrial Engineer!
One thing I haven't gotten used to here in Wisconsin is the weather. Every winter I have a sliver of hope that it won't get below 20 degrees it will only snow a couple of times and melt right away, yet every winter I die a little inside from -20 windchill and ruining 10 pairs of boots to salt every couple months. I've learned the best way to accommodate my winter depression is to travel often in winter to warmer places, it really helps.
In conclusion, all I can say is; Congrats Wisconsin, you have held me hostage for nearly 10 years, I will call you home at least for the next 10 years. I've enjoyed the past decade, but I must say, I have never been more ready for change.