We both knew this day would eventually come. When I first came to you I was sad and angry. I didn’t want to leave my beloved home, but I had to in order to follow the man who stole my heart. It took some time, you and me, to fully accept one another. Though I didn’t want to admit it at the time, a challenge in my life was what I needed; new surroundings, new job, new friends, new city. Slowly as the days ticked by and as summer turned into fall, I began to actually enjoy some things about you. It took a solid year before I fully gave 100% of myself to you and opened my eyes to your potential. I daydreamed about what areas of you I would like to live, even checked out some pieces of real estate. I planned weekend staycations where I would try to cram in all of my favorite things about you in a 48 hour time period. Amidst all the exploration and fun I was having, I knew deep inside that you weren’t the one for me. I know this hurts, but you were merely a rebound, the one chosen to distract me when I had to break it off with my previous suitor. When giving my heart to a man who gave me his last name, I realized I didn’t give my entire heart to him, I left a piece of it behind in the city I have grown to call my home. On days where I fell head over heels with your metroparks, your cultural hubs and a few of your sports teams, I would feel a tinge of guilt. I felt like I was being unfaithful to my true home. As time progressed and I began to examine my inner workings, I realized in order to be my greatest, healthiest, happiest self, I needed to get back to another city that started with a capital C. Columbus. Columbus might not be as large and in charge as the CLE, but the one thing this city has over you is my family. How can one truly compete with that?
As much as it pains you to read this, I am beyond excited to bust out those cardboard boxes so I can load all of my tangible belongings into them. I’m thrilled for a new chapter in this life of mine. Will I miss you? I’m sure there will be days that I do, but very few and far between compared to the weeks and months of homesickness and heartache I have felt after leaving Columbus. But Cleveland, dear Cleveland. I will never forget you. You will always be a part of me. You were the first place that I lived with my spouse. Your glorious streets are where I finally captured the elusive BQ. I will look back fondly on the memories of hours spent on the trails at Rocky River Reservation, afternoons purchasing the finest produce at the West Side Market, evenings listening to live music with the feel of a summer breeze on my face at Nautica Pavilion, amazing vegan-friendly meals at Tommy’s in Coventry, sippin’ some of the finest java around at Phoenix Coffee, and getting my OM on at the most amazing yoga studio I’ve ever found at Innerbliss. However, more importantly I will miss your people. Never in my life have I been in a city where people are so friendly, humble, welcoming, loyal and real. Your running community is second to none, so supportive and comprised of people who love the sport for what it is at its core. Things like heartbreak from sports teams and intense winters from being located in the snow belt haven’t destroyed your people, it has given them character and made them tough. Clevelanders wear a badge of honor, they love and adore their home and want everyone who steps foot in their city to see it from their own eyes, and dig roots here too. I gave it my best shot, but it just wasn’t the right fit for me, despite all of your efforts.
Now CLE, even though our relationship status is changing completely, we can still be friends. I’m sure I will come to see you every now and then, but don’t get too upset if I don’t come around your parts for a while. I think a clean break will be good for us both.
CLE, you offered me the best of you, but unfortunately it wasn’t suited for me. Trust me, you will give so many others what they need in a home. We didn’t work out, but don’t get too discouraged because it’s not you, it’s me.