learning to love the midwest

by - 3/17/2018


As a general rule, I hate the midwest.

It's pretty much a collection of things I dislike. I dislike corn. I dislike long stretches of field with nothing in-between. I dislike abandoned gas stations and cheesy billboards for law firms and cows everywhere. (seriously, cows everywhere.) And yet here I am, setting out on a nine-hour road trip through the expanses of the midwest.

I hate the midwest. Most days I can't wait to get out of it, and driving through it all makes that feeling even stronger, makes the urge to run and live somewhere a little more dynamic stronger than before. But during this whole road-trip business, I had to reconcile to it a bit, and while all those thoughts from my road trip alone are un-processed, I'm going to dump some of them here. It turns out that eighteen hours in a car with yourself churns out a good collection of floating ideas.

this is finn. he is a good boy.

#1. Do we really think about how big the US is??? It's huge. It's hours and hours of stretches of places people barely live. You don't get how big it is until you drive for nine hours one way and never get to the end of the fields. Also, you drive nine hours and look at the map and realize you've barely made a dent in the country. Much less the world. We're kind of small, guys.

#2. Goodbyes are hard. You spend a week with people you very much care about and by the end of that week, you're never ready to leave them. Sometimes it doesn't hit you until you're an hour away, driving through that stupid corn, seriously, why is there so much corn in this country, and then all of a sudden you're standing in the cold to put gas in your car and you're crying. Swallowing back tears so fellow traveler at the pump across from you doesn't know you're crying. Trying not to drive right back and hug them again so you don't have to feel so weirdly sad.

#3. There are so many projects I'm excited about!! I want to work on them all. Never sleep so I can work on them all. I have the urge to churn out everything all at once and get it out into the world but I don't know if that's right, and it's definitely not healthy. I'm almost finished with the novella I'm about to share with all of you but it's taken months and months to write -- I had to learn to be okay with that. Some things can't be dashed out all at once. Sometimes you need to take your time and that's okay. You can't do everything at once. Working hard and ceaselessly is also good.

#4. You know when you watch or read something and it sticks in your stomach? Gives you a squirmy feeling whenever you think about it? I've been thinking about the movie Annihilation since I saw it.

horrifying and difficult and perplexing and gross and beautiful???

I never want to take for granted the importance of fellow creative people, and the importance of sharing with them. I internalize a lot and keep my projects to myself, but I don't often take the time to really talk about what I'm doing, to talk it out, to share ideas with others. The feeling of brainstorming and discussion is a good one especially for a social creature like me, once I get out of my hyper-focused bubble and talk with others. Doing the podcast has made me love creative collaboration more than ever!

#6. Some things I'm into lately: Netflix shows, my friends' art, Dostoevsky (the brothers Karamazov is changing my life bit by bit, even as long as it's taking me to read it), raspberry flat whites, the podcast SAYER, road trips, etc

#7. You know...there's actually something a little beautiful about the Midwest! It's a lot of empty but sometimes, in the stretches between gas stations, when you think you'll be driving forever, that empty quiet is nice to take in. The fields are soft and good for wandering. The sky is huge and grey and cloudy and those clouds are...beautiful. There's beauty in things we think are boring, if you pay attention to it. Also, cows are kind of cute.

#8. Blogging is weird!! I'm not so good at one consistent type of content anymore, but I do enjoy the feeling of having a space to return to when I have thoughts. So I like the idea of turning this space into a little mini-journal, for whenever I feel like it. I'll also be posting my Irish mob novella in April!! So that should be fun, and I hope you'll stick around for it.

have a Very Large bunny. his name is danny and he is my new best friend.


You May Also Like


  1. I'm a farmer's daughter in the northwest and we live in a very rural area, which I love. Surrounded by horses, cows, fields of onions and corn, and NOT buildings! Needless to say, I can't sympathize with any of your feelings about the Midwest in this post.

    Goodbyes are hard, I definitely get that. ;) That bunny is so furry and cute, wow! OMW I LOVE ORANGE CATS!!!!

  2. I feel you, Aimee. <3 I'm not much into the outdoors in general, but Midwest/country anything is pretty much my cue to run furiously in the opposite direction.


  3. I've spent very little time in the Midwest but I live in the mountains and get unsettled every time the land I'm on is flat so I'm right there with you on the unpleasantness of it. Yikes.

  4. It's funny because middle of nowhere kind of sounds like a dream to me, but not in the midwest. I'm a southern girl through and through. I kind of just found your blog and I love your Bright Eyes podcast. I've only listened to episode one so far, but I want to binge listen to it even thought I don't have time. Why is time the enemy???

    Anyway, just wanted to say how it awesome it is to meet another creative. <3

    ~Ivie| Ivie Writes

    1. IVIE!! *tackles you* I'm so happy you found your way over to Aimee's AMAZING blog. Isn't she just the best? *shoves the Aimee archive at you*

  5. This is a beautiful post. <3

  6. I love this so much. I was born/raised in Michigan, so I guess my roots are midwestern, but most of my memories are not in the midwest. My family and I drove to Nebraska for a tournament once (yes, of all places, NEBRASKA), and GOOD GRIEF THE CORN. IT IS EVERYWHERE.


tell me stuff!