It’s been six months since Erik and I trekked 1,800 miles from New York to Minnesota.
I had spent the previous six and a half years in the New York Tri-State area and up until November of last year, I thought I was going to be there indefinitely. We had every intention of staying with our jobs, our friends, the life we had built together. But slowly — usually over episodes of House Hunters and their ridiculously low budgets — we decided that living in New York was not that path for us.
After only two months, Erik was able to secure a job, he gave notice, and we moved out so that I could start the spring semester at the University of Minnesota. Of course, that didn’t end up working out, so we could have stayed longer, but we didn’t know it then so that’s really neither here nor there.
Now it’s been six months and we just made another move. This time a much shorter fifteen miles away to our new house in Northeast Minneapolis. We’re still in the midst of unpacking, but things are starting to feel more and more settled. It’s really an adorable house, although it has its fair share of work that needs to be done. I’m looking forward to showing off pictures once we get a few more things put away and pictures hung on the wall.
On top of having a house, I have a new job — as sales associate and quasi-social media manager (not an official titled, but that’s basically what I’ll be doing) for Run N Fun — and a new grad program — Counseling and Psychology at Saint Mary’s University. I’m also getting more involved with Junior League of Minneapolis. I’m on a committee that will require that I organize four different volunteer events over the course of the year so that will definitely keep me busy and will force me to meet a lot of people. I’m also getting more involved with the local diabetes community.
The only thing that we haven’t really nailed down yet is a church home. But that is something that I think always takes time, so I’m trying to not worry too much about that. We’ve been to a few churches that seemed nice, but I think the summer is a hard time to check out new churches because so many people are away and it just isn’t the same atmosphere.
I finally feel focused again, with a purpose and a reason to get up every morning. Wow, that sounds like I was seriously depressed! Well, I wasn’t depressed, per se, but it was difficult to stay motivated and feel like I’m a productive member of society. Often times Erik would ask me what I did during the day and I never felt like I had anything to tell him. I really haven’t been doing much of anything. And that just isn’t very good for someone’s self-esteem.
Now I have this big house, a job, school and a budding social life to keep me busy. It’s exactly the combination of things that I need to feel settled. I think for me, being settled is important. I like adventure and I like exploring, but I also like having a sense of belonging somewhere. I think that’s something I’ve always craved. Feeling like a foreigner is so uncomfortable. I can really understand why so many people resist change.
The hardest part of moving — and I’ve moved a few times now — hasn’t been adjusting to the new lay of the land, it’s been figuring out the lay of my life. When you become so used to the idea that your life is going to look a certain way, have certain people in it or that you’re going to be doing something in particular, it’s jarring and scary to suddenly have that upended.
The easiest move was my first move, from Oregon to New Jersey. Even though it was the first time, I fully embraced the move. Not only had I been preparing to move for months — years, even — I really wanted to move. I wanted the change, it wasn’t something that was happening to me or that I was forced into. Even though I had no friends and thought that the New Jersey roads were designed by a three year old, I felt settled because I felt strongly that I was where I was supposed to be.
It was only when we moved to Westchester that I had a hard time adjusting, even though I was only 30 miles from where I previously lived. And then again when we moved to Minnesota. Even though I knew it was happening, it still felt out of my control. Even though no one forced me to move to Minnesota, I still felt that I was forced into moving. I could choose where to go, but I didn’t have a choice in whether or not we were leaving. When it feels like a decision has been thrust upon you, it is so easy to resist. I think it’s because we as humans value our ability to choose so strongly.
But that’s sort of life, isn’t it? We probably don’t even realize all the choices we’re forced to make each day, just the ones that affect us on an emotional level. Although I’m happy with Minneapolis — no, really, I do like it a lot — I think I might always feel that our time in New York ended too soon. But I’m not going to let that stop me from creating a new life and feeling settled, even if it does take some time and effort. Because I do have a choice with that.