Last weekend was the first time I returned to Eau Claire after moving away a couple months ago. The occasion for my return was for no other than the inaugural Eaux Claires festival. Eau Claire history was being made and it was a magical experience to be a part of it.
I was born in a northern suburb of Chicago, that is actually an hour north of the city. Then I grew up outside of Janesville, Wisconsin, where I went to school in a small town called Clinton. So looking back, I didn’t quite know what to identify as my hometown. When I graduated high school and was about to begin college, I was not sad about leaving Clinton/Janesville. I was ready to leave.
In Eau Claire, I did not experience a lot of homesickness. I felt like I was home in my first few months living there. I considered transferring to an art school in Chicago for a while to study fashion, however, I couldn’t bring myself to leave what I now considered home.
Leaving Eau Claire to move to the Twin Cities was actually difficult for me. I fell in love with that adorable, thriving, little city. I was worried it would be awkward when I first returned, but as soon as I drove in, it was as if I never left and EC welcomed me with open arms. I felt as if I had never left.
The success of Eaux Claires truly had me beaming with pride at the fact I had spent the last five years of my life living there. And I do have to confess: I have been feeling homesick for these little beauties in that little city.