As of today I have officially lived in New Jersey (NYC area) for an entire year. In some ways it feels as though the past year has flown by and in other ways it feels as though it has been eons since I was a Minnesotan. Looking back on my time in Minnesota is like trying to remember a hazy dream. I remember how it felt to be there but Minnesota itself is no longer clear. I mainly attribute this phenomenon to being a much different person now that I was then. I mean, at heart I am still the same person, but really I am much different as well. It’s difficult to explain. A lot has changed in my life not only in the past year, but in the past three years. In the past year alone I’ve been unemployed, had two different jobs, and have whittled myself down to a size I haven’t been since 15. I’ve become comfortable using public transportation, am not fazed by rats or pigeons, swim in the ocean, and (on occasion) enjoy conversing with strangers. Moving away has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I confronted something I was (honestly, still am, a little bit) truly frightened of and have come out the other end a bit stronger and wiser. I always wondered what it would feel like to move away from home. Now I know.
So this is a reflection/celebration of the past year of my life. It has been challenging, stressful, beautiful, exciting, and unforgettable.
On August 25th, 2010, in my first blog entry on this site I wrote:
“Moving is a daunting feat. We, Kyle, and I, packed our entire lives into a 15ft Budget rental truck and hauled all the way to Jersey City with little idea of what was awaiting us once we arrived. Kyle drove the entire way of course while I regaled him with my stunning sense of humor and charm. Our Chihuahua, Jumbo, also accompanied us on the extravaganza. He was not thrilled and is just now beginning to fall into normalcy.
. . . Upon first viewing, it seemed impossibly small and was disappointingly dirty. There . . . Kyle hauled most of it up by himself while I guarded the truck. In the interest of full discloser, at this point, I was ready to hop on a plane (or even drive the truck) back to Minneapolis.”
A year later and I think we are all still struggling to define normalcy for ourselves individually and as a unit. Jumbo may be the most adjusted one of the three. His main thrill in life is to smell things, and in the streets of our hood, he is never without a whiff of something. I guess a dog’s nose is like a human’s smart phone. He also finds great pleasure in chasing pigeons. I don’t often allow him to indulge in such frivolity but, from time to time, we do give a pigeon a run for its money. It’s actually somewhat satisfying. Anyway, I’d be lying if I said that I never think about returning to Minnesota. Some weeks here are better than others and sometimes throwing in the towel seems like an appealing option. The apartment no longer feels small but it does feel a bit far out (a problem that we are hoping to rectify this winter!) All in all I’d say it’s been an enlightening/successful first year here.
First year in the east coast-photo montage:
It is difficult to write about a journey while one is still on it. It remains to be seen how my time here will pan out. My hopes for the coming year include finding some semblance of stability and figuring out some sort of career/life role. It has been an amazing year.