city spotlight, Everything Else

Fulfilled in Akron. Why Are You So Surprised?

{remember this cool thrift find?}

This seems to happen quite a bit. Friends and family who visit, or strangers I meet while traveling seem to be genuinely surprised when I say I’m living a satisfying and fulfilling life in Akron.

Why?

At one point in my life, probably during college I went through the “Ohio is SO corny!” phase simply because it wasn’t New York or Chicago or any other “cool” city and that was the thing to do; to hate Akron.  I had these empty plans of moving “as soon as I can” when really it was just a filler to assure non-Akronites that I too thought this city had nothing to offer. Then I got a little older, scored a good job right before college graduation,  moved into my own place, did things that made me feel fulfilled,  and before I knew it I had my own routine and life and exploring every bit that Akron had to offer…and I realized exactly why I loved this place.

Because it’s home.

Akron has a great community. Having worked in the non-profit sector for the last five years, I had no choice but to jump right into the community. I am always amazed at how many programs and resources are available, including the number of philanthropists who continue to support these services. Also, blogging for the last four years has connected me to countless businesses, groups, and individuals who really made an impact on both my blog and personal life. I’m not saying Akron has everything that a bigger city has to offer, because it doesn’t.  But what I don’t seem to understand is why so many people are surprised when I’m happy in place where friends and family are within close proximity, I’m working a job that I thoroughly enjoy every day, and am able to take advantage of ridiculously affordable living that allows me enough flexibility to travel and visit these places i.e New York.

There’s nothing I encourage more than travel, growth, education, and experience. And I’m not saying that I would never move because ruling something out completely would just be stupid (my sister told me that!) but we all don’t want the same thing. I think what bothers me the most is the pretentious shock. That self-rightous concern that I’m living in a place with unpredictable weather and no growth. What’s important to me is around me and that makes me live a fulfilled life. In fact, I’d like to think we have a great balance between breathtaking nature and an up-and-coming city life. Not to mention, Cleveland is just a short drive north. And I’m sorry, last time I checked the winters in the East and Midwest aren’t very pretty either. So grab a parka and stfu.

 I think It’s all about being happy with yourself and your surroundings; if Akron isn’t the place for you, no problem! Travel, move, explore the world! But don’t be so shocked when someone is happy here….I mean come on, we have one of the Goodyear Blimps for crying out loud. The blimp even thinks Ice Cube is a pimp.