As my flight pulled off the runway, tons of feelings weighed on my mind while I bid adieu to the city and my friends for the second time.
I couldn’t leave it behind.
Within three months, I desperately booked a trip back to everything I am familiar with and deeply rooted for the past 5 years living in Michigan, the mitten state.
People: I still remember the first tweetea & social media day I attended. Detroit has a fairly small community of digital advertising/marketing/PR professionals, so one ended up bonding with people of similar interests after a few times in those social occasions. I am fortunate to have met the most welcoming & amazing people in my life, let alone building lifelong friendships with a few.
Who said you can’t be friends with your coworkers?
My first job out of grad school taught me a lot, but I left with an impression that I can’t really make friends with a lot of coworkers (for whatever reason). Digitas Detroit flipped this stereotype upside down. I was in the strategy & analytics department, a team full of great minds and fun personalities. We served different clients, faced similar challenges, and at the end of the day, we encouraged, mentored, and inspired one another like old friends. I hope I can find an equally magnificent group of people to work with in the future.
Detroit Spirit: Anthony Bourdain recently did an episode of “Parts Unknown” about Detroit. While some argued the episode revealed a negative side of the city, I think the overall message was positive.
Food: Even though DC has tons of gourmet restaurants to explore, I couldn’t avoid hitting all the Detroit places I love: Mac Shack, Inn Season Café, Red Smoke Barbecue, and Food-Network award-winning Taste Love Cupcakes in my short trip. (Even the kimchi at Korean restaurants tastes better.)
The “Real” Winter: With almost two shutdowns because of “2-5 inches of snow,” the winter weather in DC is no comparison to the winter in Michigan. Cruising & sliding around in the snow is like a routine for Michigan winter.
There are a lot more things that I miss, and there are a lot more things that you just have to live there for a few years to experience. I miss the interesting rivalry between MSU Spartans/OSU Buckeyes and UM Wolverine (even though I don’t even know football rules), I miss yoga shelter (for some reason among three of the yoga studios I tried in DC, none of them is as challenging as the yoga shelter), and I miss living in a state shaped like a mitten (you can simply tell people where you live by the location on your hand).
Change is a good thing, and I am glad DC is also a place full of adventures and opportunities. It’s just that the memory of Detroit will always be a part of me.
Disclaimer: I have been thinking of the direction of life and what the purpose of the blog should be. Since DC has a lot of data science and visualization professional groups, I would likely dedicate a lot of future content to what I learn and take away from those meetings and interesting techniques. Stay tuned!