This is another response to Alaska, I'm breaking up with you, published last week.
Our relationship has not been easy. There were times it was so tumultuous that I decided it was over, that I would pack my bags and leave this home behind. But I was born in you, raised in your borders, played through your dark and light times. It is my fault and others fault that you have become so hurt. We have neglected you.
You know that I was hurt, too. You know my things have been broken into. You have seen my treasures turn into someone else's trash as they rifled through my car. You felt when those things became litter on your soil and we hurt together.
Not ever will I curse your beautiful mountains for being the backdrop of my memories. Nor will I become upset at a lotion bill because I know how dry you become when the earth decides to flip its axis and the sun gives you the cold shoulder. I have loved you through that.
These needle-laden sidewalks are not your fault, Alaska. You have done no wrong. The people we, as Alaskans, have entrusted to protect you have failed. They have failed both you and me. Still, I will traverse those sidewalks to get to a polling place, championing for you in the way I know how. I will spread your good and talk of your wonder, though both of us can agree that we miss the good ol' days.
The bad has spilled throughout your populated areas, poisoning some minds and rendering some hearts incapable of loving you any longer. Anyone who has been here long enough knows that you have always been rough around the edges, but despite those rough edges, you – at your core – are stunning.
After your unforgiving winters, you give us a summer,a summer that dares us to roll down our windows and stare into Turnagain Arm and express our gratitude that you came around – as you always do. This has been a political winter. For me and for you. But I'm not going to abandon you because my next-door neighbor called to tell me my car tire was flat, because all of local Twitter sat outside to look into your northern lights sky the other night, because of fishing and construction season, because of the Coastal Trail, because of the melting pot that is Anchorage, because of the midnight sun that is Fairbanks, because of the villages and the beautiful people living in them. I will not abandon you.
Roadside fruit stands don't hold a candle to your anything. And despite what others may say, John Muir would still think you are one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Jasmine Alleva was born and raised in Anchorage and lives in Fairview.