Six months ago I moved to a new town.
I came to New Jersey at 18 for college. It never crossed my mind that I’d one day be rooted here through marriage and family, but here I am. And while I’ve been quick to dismiss a lot of the Garden State, I found a slice of heaven in my new town, which has made all of the difference in the way I write, what I write about, and where I want my writing to take me.
Locality counts! Writer Harlan Coben summed it up for me with these words, “I live in the suburbs, the final battleground of the American dream, where people get married and have kids and try to scratch out a happy life for themselves.” At this stage in my life I feel like Coben’s words were created for my sole benefit. My current utopia is Madison, New Jersey. Alongside my husband, I’m knee deep in raising two little ones and focusing on our family’s adventures. This shifts my tone, topic, and purpose regularly.
I’ve moved around enough to know that it’s important to find a community you feel comfortable in, and it’s equally important to find a way to contribute to causes and citizens within the neighborhood.
Madison is changing me. It’s artistic flair, college vibe, and tight-knit community is giving me all the feels when it comes to fika. I deeply desire to connect with people who give their time and talents to projects with contagious conviction. Moreover, I’m especially eager to emulate parents who pursue passions outside of the home while pouring their hearts and souls into their spouses and children. Like many, I know the inevitable struggle between obligation and opportunity all too well.
When I first moved to Madison I stumbled across A Madison Mom, which is run by a dynamite local mom who created a community of information, shared experiences, and general parental guidance. She was kind enough to allow me to write for her blog, which has granted me more access and insight into my environment.
Writing locally channels my inspiration for much of my general writing. My daily exposure to places and people shapes my stories. Soon, I’ll host my first fika at a local bookstore. It’s a chance to connect and conspire with local writers in an effort to delve deeper into the marriage of locality and productivity. It’s the start of a new form of fika for me, and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with the locals.