After a pleasantly busy day toward the end of summer, I had a realization that took me back a bit: Was I actually having a…good year?
The end of 2023 marked just over four years of living in Minnesota, and the first three were pretty bad ones. It wasn't my fault, it wasn't anybody else's fault, and it wasn't Minnesota's fault. They just weren't good.
The first nine months alone included flagship events such as my moving company losing my truck and all my belongings for two months, a global pandemic shutting the world down, losing all my clients amidst said events and nearly going broke, and part of my neighborhood getting burned down during a historic moment of civic unrest. I moved largely because I thought my life would be easier here, but I was drowning from the get-go.
Friends and family would ask me if I liked Minneapolis, and my answers always came with a question mark. I think I do? I think I will?
I barely got a chance to experience "normal" Minneapolis — let alone to establish a life within it — so I had nothing to look forward to returning to during the height of the pandemic. Nothing to miss. I spent years waiting for when I could finally simply begin to live here; waiting for the chance to establish a "normal" that was worth missing.
I realized that summer evening that, somewhere along the way, I'd done it! I'd built a life.
I have friends! I've gotten more involved in the hobbies that I love (mainly playing trumpet and bowling), and there's always at least one thing on my calendar each week that I look forward to. I have a life outside of my career, which was never really true in San Francisco. I've invested a lot of energy into therapy and growth, and now I feel capable of being a good partner. I've completely rebuilt my savings, and then some!
I feel more resilient to future adversity because I've established a foundation.
Things definitely weren't perfect, and I don't expect 2024 to be either. But, man, it feels so rewarding to finally just fucking exhale.