Legacy Writers: Joanna Falls in Love with Detroit

Legacy Writers: Joanna Falls in Love with Detroit
Legacy Writers: Joanna Falls in Love with Detroit - Awesome Mitten
Photo courtesy Jonathon Arntson.

Since you’re reading this post, you’re probably familiar with how truly awesome The Awesome Mitten is from the reader perspective. I’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s even better when you work for it. The Awesome Mitten’s third birthday is quickly approaching and with that, my almost three year anniversary writing, managing social media, and now editing is quickly approaching. My roles have changed over the last few years, but one thing has endured: Michigan is worth celebrating.

I was born and raised in Traverse City, I spent my early twenties going to school and working in East Lansing and Lansing, and now I’m living and working in the Detroit area. Through my numerous travels, exploratory adventures, and lived experiences, I’ve learned a thing or two about what makes this state great and much of that I owe to working for The Awesome Mitten.

Legacy Writers: Joanna Falls in Love with Detroit - Awesome Mitten
Photo courtesy Jonathon Arntson.

To appease the powers that be, I’m going to talk about my three favorite pieces from my past for our third birthday:

Gettin’ Lost in the D

I moved to Metro Detroit for love, or whatever 24 year old me thought that was, and it was the best decision I ever made (we are no longer together, but that’s part of the point). This first piece is about getting lost all over Metro Detroit, which is something that still happens frequently more than a year and a half later. In the beginning, getting lost was terrifying. Now? I do it on purpose all the time. In a city steeped in history like Detroit, there’s no knowing what adventure is down that new road.

 

Legacy Writers: Joanna Falls in Love with Detroit - Awesome Mitten
Photo courtesy Joanna Dueweke.

It’s So Cold in the D: 8 Ways to Make Detroit Your Next Long-Term Relationship

Regardless of its clever name and important contents that I still mostly agree with, this piece is by far my favorite that I’ve ever written for The Awesome Mitten for a very different reason. When you scroll (re: read) through the article and reach the end, you’ll find a delightful comment written about how the piece helped a fellow Northwest Michigander feel more comfortable about making the move to Detroit. It is that comment that makes this my favorite article, ever.

Now don’t worry, it is not for reasons of vanity that I had a fan or someone who appreciated my ideas. No, that comment was made by a person who not only moved to Detroit, but also became a writer for The Awesome Mitten as well as, and most importantly, became my best friend.  Detroit would never have been the same without this companionship and having a pretty badass adventure partner is a major bonus.

 

Legacy Writers: Joanna Falls in Love with Detroit - Awesome Mitten
Photo courtesy Joanna Dueweke.

Failure:Lab Incubating in Detroit

Failure:Lab is an event that began in Grand Rapids where seemingly successful people get up on stage and tell you about a time that they absolutely and positively failed. At their first event in Detroit, I was hesitant to attend for several reasons, but regardless of those I went anyway. Watching people that seemed to have really made it get up there and utter some of their darkest hours changed something in me. I was ready to become a true believer in Detroit’s motto: Speramus meliora; resurget cineribus; or, “We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes.”

Detroit has made me feel a sense of pride and belonging from the very beginning, but with each day I become more and more ingrained in the community. The Awesome Mitten made that possible by exposing me to new people, new areas, new events, and creating the connections that have sustained me both socially and professionally. I can’t say enough positive things about The Awesome Mitten, and I’m constantly recruiting other Michiganders to write with us to celebrate this great state. On our third birthday, I want to extend my deepest gratitude to this experience as well as revel in how many awesome things we have ahead of us.

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I was raised in vacation-land, Traverse City, where I was one of the lucky ones to enjoy the beach in the summer and snowboard through the winters. Then, I went to college and lived in East Lansing and Lansing, where I learned about sports and getting things done. Now I'm quite honestly falling head over heels for Detroit. I solemnly believe that life is too short for bad coffee, yucky wine, and poorly crafted beer. This means that Michigan is the perfect place for me! My spare time is spent reading or exploring the outdoors. E-mail me: joanna@awesomemitten.com.