A New and Proud Nutmegger
Posted on by Sarah Ficenec, Ph.D.
I moved to Connecticut a little over two years ago to take my job at CERC. To be honest, I had never even considered Connecticut as a potential residence – I wasn’t interested in an insurance or finance job, and the most I knew about the state came from episodes of “30 Rock” and “Mad Men.” Moving up here, after 12+ years of urban living in Baltimore and DC, was an adjustment, of course, with my new state’s suburban and car-centric lifestyle.
Slowly, I’ve explored Connecticut. I’ve visited and done something – for work or for fun – in almost 70 of the towns and cities here (not including just driving through). I’ve been to the beaches, enjoyed ferries and tours on the Sound, attended baseball games at Dunkin Donuts Park, used cheap and direct international flights out of a small and convenient airport, and taken advantage of the state’s location to be a more frequent visitor to New York City, Boston, and other New England locations.
And I have to say, this is a great state in which to live! Are there problems? Most assuredly, and demonstrated well during the budget debacle of the last few months (and years). But Connecticut is not alone in these challenges – many states face budget, demographic, infrastructure, and other problems, some to a much worse degree than Connecticut. Even more importantly, in contrast to other struggling states, Connecticut has great strengths to build on, including our wealth, educated workforce, industrial history, and prime location. Many of these assets are already being leveraged, although more can and should be done such as our town or city governments working together to provide more efficient and effective services to residents.
However, the most important thing that could contribute to the wellbeing of the state is for residents to be more positive about it. Perceptions are important, and right now the general perception from residents is of malaise and frustration. Focusing on the positive and focusing on areas of growth – while not ignoring the struggles our state and our neighbors experience every day – will be important for our success, says this proud Nutmegger. A positive attitude and celebration of the state’s history and future, along with its quirks, can help our state grow and return to the days of being recognized as an economic powerhouse.