By the way, the first two rhyme, the second two rhyme.
Appropriately enough, although I begin writing this post in Michigan, I expect to finish it up from an airport in Oregon. It has come to the point where I have to admit I call both states home, although I still consider myself an Oregonian. Thus, flying from one to another provoked some emotions, which I'm not really going to talk about, and some thoughts, which are more my thing.
One thing I realized is that I don't really visit Oregon proper, I visit an idealized version. For one thing, I am just visiting Oregon, I don't have to live here. Which means I'm usually not doing work when I'm here, although that isn't always the case. My stress level also tends to be a lot lower here, because even if I am working on things my deadline doesn't come due until I head back to Michigan. Another idealization is the delusion that a lot of my Oregonian friends still live in Oregon. This is especially true in the Christmas season, when I get together with old friends who have also made the pilgrimage back to Corvallis, a few of them from origins even further away than mine, although this coming year I expect to be the second most distant. I realized at least a year ago that the Corvallis which I visit is a Corvallis that mostly exists in my memory, rather than reality, but it has been a more recent revelation that I have been comparing Michigan to this ideal Oregon unfairly. That said, the weather really is much nicer in Oregon.
Another interesting thing I recently realized is that I really do consider Michigan my home now. I think I made a grave error in considering my move to Michigan temporary. This, combined with my pain from leaving Oregon, probably contributed to a desire to avoid feeling at home in Michigan, so that my planned eventual leaving wouldn't hurt so much. Of course this, along with other stuff, led to me being fairly miserable my first couple of years in Michigan, so I can't really say as I recommend this course of action. I'm sort of inclined to write it off as just me not transplanting well, but that is disingenuous, as I acclimated to Corvallis very well, and I always enjoy visiting and exploring new places, so it is probably more complicated than that.
In conclusion, it's not easy having your life scattered across the continent, but whose life is easy? I try to persevere and keep thinking interesting thoughts. And seriously, pronounce Oregon correctly ;)