This summer marks ten years (TEN!?) since I packed up all my things and moved to Toledo, Ohio to transfer schools and get a fresh start. I have met so many amazing people and have had so many amazing experiences in this city since then. Toledo will always have a very special place in my heart—I wasn’t born and raised here, but I did grow up here (I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and my love for that city knows no bounds-- that is a whoooole other blog post) BUT! I moved here when I was 22 years young and So. Much. Has. Changed. I changed. This city helped me change into the woman I am today, without a doubt. This city is where I met the love of my life, this city is where we started our lives together (which now involves the best thing that ever happened to me-- my daughter), this city is where I learned about community, this city is where I decided to pursue my dream and start my own photography business, this city is where I have put down roots of my own, branched out of my comfort zones and really made something for myself, by myself.
There is a phrase “You will do better in Toledo”. I know all you fellow Toledoans know it, but for those that don’t: It was a slogan created in 1913 and for years was on an electrical sign in Downtown Toledo. It was recently revitalized and has again become the Toledo slogan, covering street signs, t-shirts, bumper stickers, etc. It’s a way for people to pronounce their Toledo pride and you better believe I’m all over it! I can absolutely attest to the validity of the slogan because I feel like it totally embodies my life ever since I moved here ten (TEN!?!) years ago. I truly HAVE done better in Toledo and for that I will be forever grateful. I’ve watched this city grow so much in the 10 years I’ve been here. I’ve watched each year as new businesses around town pop up- a testament to people believing in themselves enough to follow their dreams. I’ve watched downtown flourish year after year, becoming more and more bustling. Slowly yet surely this city is coming back. I feel like we’ve grown up together, this city and I, and that gives me so much pride.
Thank you Toledo for all that you have given me. Thank you for my little family as well as my big family of in-laws, friends, fellow artists and fellow Toledo lovers. Thank you for showing me my true self and for giving me a place to call my own.
Happy 419 Day, Toledo!!
There are SO MANY fun events tonight to celebrate:
The first Art Loop of the season
A mini Makers Mart with local crafters and artists at Handmade Toledo
Jupmode has 25% off all Toledo Merch (Get your own “You will do better in Toledo” shirt!)
419 Day Show at the Ottawa Tavern
The Village on Adams is hosting a scavenger hunt
A Toledo Walleye watch party at Fleetwoods Tavern
A bunch of local restaurants and bars with drink and food specials (and check out the drag show at Georgjz419 Fun Food & Spirits, heeeeyy!)