My transition

I haven't talked about it much, but I thought I'd follow up on my last post to talk about my transition from LA to the Chicago version of the midwest to the Columbus version of the midwest, because I need a place to extrovert my thoughts.  Moving to Chicago was one of the easiest transitions I ever made.  I fell in love with it almost instantaneously.  After a few months of struggling, we found a community and made a tight-knit group of friends.  I loved having seasons for the first time.  I loved not having a car.  I loved living close to work, church and friends.  I loved how many different unique areas the city had.  I loved the park, concerts at the park, the lake, running by the lake, and all of the free events around the city.  I was only there for 1.5 years but I felt like I made a life there.  I spent my first days of marriage there, and the people who got to know us got to know us as a married couple.  This is all stuff you know because I've written about it again and again.

Then we moved to Columbus, Ohio.  The land of the buckeye nation (OSU).  The real midwest.  It's not very diverse here.  The thing that I have the hardest time with though is not the lack of diversity, but rather the narrow life perspective.  Most people were born and raised in Ohio, went to college here and never really left.  Many have never been to the land of Hollywood, as LA is often seen here.  There are many, many stereotypes of LA, I have found, in the midwest.  It is nearly a foreign country to some people.

Which leads me to the topic of my last post.  I can't begin to count how many times W or I or both of us have been asked what country we are from.  It drives me nuts.  Or I'll meet someone and they'll tell me about a Japanese woman they met yesterday who plays two instruments beautifully (literally happened today), or they'll make some Asian reference, or recall the only other Asian person they know.  It happens at church, at the gym, wherever.  Sometimes people stare.  Our yoga instructor is a doctor and has taught yoga for 10 years, and is also Asian.  She was telling us today that they gave her a really hard time during her application for the position.  And she's the best yoga instructor at our gym.  I don't know.  Sometimes I get so angry.  Today at church we were targeted for a specific ministry by someone sitting in front of us at service because we were Asian.  She just introduced herself, asked us if we were new, asked us what country we were from, and then talked about what she wanted us to do for 15 minutes straight.  Thankfully, W was much more gracious than I was.  (Midwestern spirituality is another issue which I will not get into.)  I realize how spoiled I am.  I'm used to white people who eat dim sum in the morning, drink boba or froyo in the afternoon, go out for Korean bbq at night, and then do a late night taco truck run.

OK, so now that I've vented, to the good parts.  I do love the open spaces, the access to locally farmed or locally made products, organic products at a lower cost.  I love that I can go apple picking 15 minutes from home, get chestnuts from nearby farms and all of those farm-y types of things.  The cost of living is cheaper here, taxes are lower, homes are affordable and schools are good.  There's actually some really good ethnic food here.  I am loving the fall season. The foliage is absolutely amazing.  Despite all of my issues, I told W today that I think I could settle down here if it came down to it.

We have definitely had our ups and downs.  Some days I do better than W, and other days he does better than me (like today, when I was about to go ballistic).  I find myself missing Chicago a lot.  Sometimes we wonder what in the world are we doing out here?  I still don't have an answer to that question.  It also doesn't help that I can't find work.  But I'm grateful W has a job, we have a roof over our heads, we have food to eat, and we have our health.

That's all for today.  Thanks for listening.


  1. Hang in there. It's always a shock to the system when you move from a big city to a small town; but you'll soon learn to let it slide because you understand they've never been outside their town and can't really fault them for not knowing any better. They mean no disrespect. My favorite is when they call us 'orientals' as if we were rugs : )

  2. Wow, Thanks for sharing this. This sounds like a tough thing to navigate, especially that you don't have much of a community yet

  3. sounds like you're in another country or at least they treat you like you are from one....may jesus give you lots of grace, humor, and a community that you can connect with.