It's a bittersweet move.
It will be nice being near Matt's family and being in the sunshine, but it's not home. Maybe one day it will be, but right now it's Matt's home and I am known as Matt's wife. Lakeland is someplace I visit, not someplace I know. Ohio has always been neutral ground, which is precisely why we've been here for the last three years (I kept telling Matt that California's the best neutral ground, but I was never able to convince him, dangit). But, even with great friends, jobs, and church, I never saw it as home.
Syracuse wasn't the perfect place to grow up. It's freezing cold in the winter and finding something exciting to do on a Friday night is as difficult as here in Dayton. However, my family and friends make up for the many shortcomings of the area. Home is a place where I am completely loved, accepted, and enjoyed. It's not that I fear that I won't be these things in Florida, but it's the COMPLETELY part that I think can only be found at home. There is nothing to prove or anyone to impress, and no feeling stupid for saying something dumb (and I say a LOT of dumb things!). I am completely me at home. Silly, serious, quiet, loud, caring, careless, consistent, roller-coaster, strong, vulnerable, cheerful, moody me. No matter which me I am on any given day, I never have to question if I'm loved. It's a pretty great thing; I know that is not what home is for everyone. I only hope that when my daughter looks back at where she was raised, she'll see home in the same way I do.