Yesterday, I stopped by my apartment to leave a check for the stager. (Did I tell you I’m moving?) As I walked through my empty apartment looking for stray items left behind, I began to grieve a little. The full impact of my decision to move became suddenly real. My apartment was empty, the walls and cabinets were a different color, the kitchen light fixture had been changed, and there were no personal
belongings left my apartment. This place I had called home for the past 10 years is no longer my home. This is the home where I learned to be an adult and a home owner. It’s where I welcomed my rescue dog last year and taught her how to be brave, and to know what Love felt like. It’s where I made my community, found my “watering holes,” and made many friends. All these thoughts definitely made me feel sentimental. The thing I’ve come to realize about sentimentality is that it can also make you very comfortable. So comfortable in fact, that you forget to take risks. If we are truly living in, and participating in, our own life, we will be called upon to take risks. We will be given opportunities to be uncomfortable, go on adventures, throw “Hail Mary” passes and learn LOTS of lessons. These choices require courage, bravery and vulnerability. (Good thing I have a tattoo on my wrist that says courage. *insert sarcasm here*).
So…I decided this year to get uncomfortable. I have been thinking about moving out of the area for 2 years, but wasn’t sure where. Maui, the Central Coast of California, Southern Oregon… all these places came to mind. What I hadn’t planned on was several life detours that pointed me towards Minnesota. For those people that don’t know, my Dad is from Minnesota. He comes from solid Norwegian Farmer/Coal Miner stock. They are a group of people that work the land, live simply, and have amazing senses of humor. If a Minnesotan gives you a nickname and makes a few jokes at your expense, you know you’re “in.” One thing you should also know is that in Minnesota, your word is your bond. My Gramp, George Torger Klippenes, used to say “If a man’s word is no good, the man is no good.” These people take their word very seriously. What do all these things have to do with me moving to Minnesota you ask? Well, after living 37 years in California, I find these attitudes to be refreshing. California is expensive, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area. Not only is it expensive, but the traffic is insane and people are rude. I decided I have had enough of the rat race, excessive commute times, and financial cost of living in California. So, when looking at other places to live, I find Minnesota to be REALLY attractive. I can have my adventure of living in a whole new state, but have family nearby. I can live in a culture where people are nice, they look you in the eye, and the people connection is more important than the car you drive. At the end of the day, the chance for adventure + more authentic human connection was a greater pull than being comfortable.
This month begins the Last Chapter in my stay as a Californian. In September, I begin my Next Chapter as a Minnesotan. I’m choosing adventure and discovery over “fixed/set” expectations. I’ve found value in being curious and flexible in life because it helps me become present on my journey. I hope everyone learns the value of curiosity, and gets the chance to become a little “uncomfortable” in your life. I promise, it’s good for you.