Texas to Michigan (Startup Stories 17.09)

Ivy Markwell, Ambassador, HF 2017

Ivy Markwell, Ambassador, HF 2017

I have problems with too much consistency. For a long time, I wanted to leave Texas because I lived there my entire life. Don’t get me wrong, Austin is where my home will always be, but I’m the kind of person who needs change.

You never realize what you have until it’s gone either. Not long after leaving Texas and moving to Michigan, I was really home sick and still was for a long time after that. I would have been so comfortable living in Texas. I still have days where not being home hits me really hard. I miss the sun, all the people I loved, the festivals; I miss everything I can think of.

But I think I needed this. After just a couple of months, I’ve become a completely different person than the person I was before and I’ve changed in many ways, both good and bad. I’ve grown a lot moving here, from small things like not knowing anyone around me or having to learn a whole new city. I also started to get into riding my bike and I now love nature so much more than I thought I could have. I think a lot changes when you get a chance to meet yourself somewhere else.

You Ivy.jpg

Apparently I love photography? Michigan is such a beautiful place to take pictures. I basically never experienced spring in Texas and I realized after just a few days of May here that there was so much I was missing out on. Another thing I noticed is that I love the water even though I never really thought about it before. I love living next to the lake, living across from another country, and being able to travel to other places so easily. Some of this, I’m sure, is me discovering myself after college and becoming an adult, but I’ve still discovered a whole other side to myself who I think may have been there the whole time. I was just never really given a chance to meet her.

The most important thing I’ve tried to do since moving is trying new things. I’ve pushed myself to learn as much as I can. I go to new places all the time. I even recently wrote a Medium article about using a static site generator to create a website and deploy it on Github, which isn’t something I could have never imagined myself doing a couple of years ago. Every day I learn something new or do something I haven’t done before.

Everything I’ve just talked about I could have done in Texas, except for that Michigan quality beer. But even then, it would have been completely different. My first photography pictures wouldn’t have been of the Heidelberg project. I wouldn’t have gotten to get my first bike and ride it around Belle Isle. I even got my first tattoos here!

Tattoo Ivy.jpeg

If I’ve learned one thing over the past couple of months, it’s to push yourself to try new things. I refuse to let things hold me back because I’m scared. If you know me, you will probably at some point hear me suggest going somewhere and people turning it down or not wanting to go. You will then proceed to see me go anyways. That’s really what this move was about. I moved across the country to be here and it’s been one of the longest years of my life, but I’ve learned a lot about myself.

Meeting me has been good.


Ivy is a 2017 Hacker Fellow who studied Mathematics at the University of Texas. She is currently working with Ambassador in Royal Oak.