This last week has been a little tough.  I found myself missing California… a lot.  This always scares me because I'm afraid it might ignite my wanderlust.  Roots… roots are what I want… right?! I'm settled in, started a new business, registered my car, got a Michigan license, signed a lease, bought a bed…! I now own more things than I can fit in my car and the pick-up-and-go attitude has been put on the shelf, so I do not welcome feelings of longing for elsewhere. After careful thought and reflection aided by an amazing yoga class, I realized that it wasn't a place I was missing.  Sure I'd love to have hot springs at my finger tips and my favorite hiking spots around the corner (ahh redwoods), but what I miss the most is me.  Being back home I have been able to reclaim part of my identity, the grounded, salt-of-earth, focused part of myself, but I've been squelching the weirdo, unique side of myself that flourished in California. That has been my constant battle, finding a balance between the two unique parts of me that allowed me to feel at home in two different worlds: the U.P. and Northern Cali.

Let me tell you, it has not been easy living the life of a Yooper Hippie, but it has been fun as hell.  Sippin' on whiskey after a mind-blowing kundalini yoga class, tromping through the woods, making kombucha cocktails at camp after an amazing vegan meal, living out of my car across the states, cherishing the love I have for friends and family in both my homes, and anything outdoors.  It's a unique combination that makes my life interesting and adventurous, but can easily get out of whack.

Since being back in Marquette, I've welcomed the shift to a more structured, rooted lifestyle, but I've stopped letting my freak flag fly.  Yeah, I've been hooping, yoga-ing, juicing, and all that, but I've been holding back, afraid of coming off as too hippie or too strange.  I've struggled expressing that part of myself since I'm not as immersed in a culture that celebrates weirdness, but I know I'm not alone in my yearning for spiritual fulfillment, delicious vegan foods, and deep, meaningful conversations about our inner children, astrology, chakras, alternative health, chi flow, feng shui, sustainability, spiritual enlightenment, parenting and childbirth, nutrient optimization, acupuncture, emotional growth and hardship… I could go on and on.

Despite my yearning for more, I'm slowly discovering a world here that is a blend of the two parts of me, but until I feel like I've created that for myself I am committing to spending more time accessing and expressing my inner weird.  Are you ready, Marquette?!  :) I do believe that we all deserve to fully embrace ourselves so that we can shine our brightest, even if it's weird.