Well, it's official. I've lived in Minnesota for one whole year. Ironically, I was in Death Valley on the one year anniversary, but it still counts.
As I get I older, I find it stranger and stranger how time seems to fly by and pass slowly at the same time. I keep having this simultaneous and conflicting thought that "It's already been a year!?/it's only been a year?!" It feels like I've lived a lifetime in the last 12 months, but at the same time, wow, it's flown by.
My feelings on the last year reek of subtle personality disorder...they change from day to day. At moments I've asked myself, "What the heck are you doing here?" I miss my family. I miss my community. I miss real Mexican food. I miss not having to guess what the weather will be like in the middle of July.
In other moments I am keenly aware of how right this is. I have a job that lets me create every single day. I have been given a precious gift in the great friendships I've developed. I've found a purpose I never would have even considered otherwise. I'm learning to love this quirky little community. Who would have thought.
That day I drove away from Sacramento, one year ago, was one of the strangest days of my life. It was like everything that defines me was packed inside my little bug and on its way to being transplanted two time zones away. It's like you could hear the roots being ripped from the ground. It was a little traumatizing, to say the least, but I made it. I'm still me....just maybe a little less definable. Less defined. Strangely less boxed in.
One year later I feel less like I fit than I've ever felt, but I'm totally okay with that. I like me. Which is good because I've gotten to spend a lot of time figuring out who exactly that is. As it turns out I'm a pretty good writer. I can be diplomatic. I'm kind of funny. My wealth of useless knowledge is endlessly entertaining and holy crap I might have a green thumb.
One year later I know that the life I left behind was amazing and fulfilling, but it was only part of the adventure. I'm not ready to be fulfilled. I like the struggle. I like the journey. I like dreaming about what's next and having no idea what that might be. It keeps things exciting.
One year later I'm still a Californian living in Minnesota, but it feels more like home.
One year later...
I stopped drinking bottled water.
I learned to camp.
I'm the driver of an automatic vehicle.
I am published journalist.
I own a sweet bicycle.
I survived near death and actual death of people I love.
I manhandled winter.
I have eaten more chinese food buffet than I ever imagined was possible.
I did not run out of sweaters.
I'm a winter runner.
I grew my hair out again.
I took up vegetarianism.
And then I returned to being a carnivore.
I became a gardener.
I grilled my first rack of ribs.
I survived two tornado warnings...thankfully I didn't see the actual twisters.