Where I come from the trees grow majestically tall and their evergreen branches blot out all but a sliver of steely gray sky and like a fern I thrive there in the constant half dark. I left thirteen years ago and for the past nine I’ve hoped to move back, but when we opened our match day letter five years ago today we were conscripted to a state I’d never been to, had even forgotten we’d applied to.

Here the trees are short and wiry and the grass is sharp and the skies are a massive unrelenting blue and I feel too exposed: this state is open and flat and broad and you can still hear echoes of long-gone bison charging across the open prairie.

And I tried for years to fall in love with it the way I love my home state, or my mountain-circled college town or our medical school city where the falls burst colorfully, vibrantly alive.

I didn’t. I quickly adored the people, who like the trees that survive the strong spring storms here have deep roots and strong, hardy spirits and their hearts are as open as the sky above is wide. I loved the slower pace here, the tight community, and the family we’ve built. But I didn’t love the place itself.

Until: three weeks ago a woman spoke who’d lived here all her life and never wants to leave, and she said that what she loves most is that here, there’s nothing between her and the moon. And as I dragged my trash to the curb the next night I looked up at that moon, huge and close and I found it the next day at noon still hanging in the sky. I can’t say why this hit me the way it did but two-hundred and forty-two weeks after we moved I fell in love, and in just fourteen more we’re moving.

This is my sideways way of saying that if you don’t like your match, it’s okay. You’re not the first and you’re not alone. But at some point during your stay in your new state, may you find a reason to love it. And when you one day move away, sweet friend, may you be homesick.

–Tasha Priddy

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