Welcome to Minneapolis

I’ll confess my official move to the Mini-apple did not begin on a glamorous note. I was yearning to move into the city for a couple years now. I found the sweetest girl to be my roommate (much thanks, Roomster.com) and a great apartment in Uptown. I landed a dream internship, finally directing me to a career path better suited for me. I was doing what I love to do again and living in a new, exciting city.

What was not to love about this new chapter of life?

I failed to realize things are not as simple as they appear. I had to get a second job at a restaurant to support my internship. The cost of living was more than what I was accustomed to. So many lessons I learned the hard way. To say I spent the last few months stressed is an understatement.

My first night here, I walked back to my place from a friend who lived across the street. I turned around to see a man following me home. A stranger witnessed what was happening and offered to keep me company until my friend picked me up. I was incredibly lucky, but this was still the most terrifying moment of my life. Also something I never experienced in Eau Claire or would think to worry about there.

A week later, someone stole my wallet–a whole fiasco of itself. Then the adjustment to public transportation.

Sure, there’s Minnesota nice, but I wasn’t surrounded by the sweetness you find in a small town anymore. I was homesick for Eau Claire. I missed feeling safe. I missed going into coffee shops, where the baristas knew me by name. I missed being able to afford things. I missed my simpler, past life.

Minneapolis, in a way, is Eau Claire 2.0, with all the Blugolds that end up here. I was surrounded by great people, including many of my closest friends. So why was this transition so difficult?

I grabbed drinks with coworkers after a long shift one night and confided my struggle to a friendly barista, willing to take me in as a friend. She gave me a ride home, along with a dose of tough love. My lifestyle wasn’t for the weak, and right now, I was among the weak.

It was a harsh wake-up call that it was time to sharpen my street smarts. Fresh starts aren’t often so fresh when you pick up and begin all over again in a new location. There is a different culture no matter where you go, or how far you go, that you have to be flexible and ready to adapt to. I hadn’t realized just how much I needed to adapt until that night.

What a revelation moving here turned out to be! I realized I had a lot to work on, including my toughness and most of all, my confidence. Change, inevitably, is difficult. It was OK to struggle a little, but now it was time to roll with the punches and adapt.

“Welcome to Minneapolis, Rebecca,” she said as I exited her vehicle, already feeling stronger.

Having this wonderful city more figured out each day.

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