Twin Cities Love Letters: Part III

Having been in California for a few weeks now, I’m starting to miss Minnesota a lot less. That said, thinking about what I miss has really highlighted what is actually irreplaceable about my Minneapolis life – and that is the people who made it so incredible.

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I have been incredibly fortunate in the people with whom I have surrounded myself in the last few years in the Twin Cities. Whether old friends or new, colleagues or the most random of connections, the people who have come into my life and stayed in it through thick and thin are so deserving of a moment of gratitude.

Saying goodbye over my last few weeks in town was a challenge and a heartbreaker, in a lot of ways. I had a kind of hard winter and spring – friendships growing more distant, going through some growing pains, and of course making the monumental decision to actually make the California move put a strain on my social life. That said, I can’t speak highly enough of the people who have supported me through a crazy season of life.

I intentionally didn’t go out of my way to try to cram in seeing a million people and saying goodbyes that were, in a lot of cases, kind of meaningless. Instead, I sought out true quality time, and lots of it, with the friends who have made the most indelible mark on my life.

Cuddles with Mr. Mason…

…trivia nights and one final Guthrie trip with some of my favorite guys…

…one last opera evening with Michael, Michael, and Antinea…

…feeling Baby R’s kicks and enjoying way too many cocktails with the Reuvers family (water for Colleen, DUH guys)…

…and of course, so much Kelsie and Hannah time. These two, especially, are so sorely missed on a legit daily basis.

One of the best surprises of the move: Hannah introduced me to Chatbooks with the most adorable and unbelievably thoughtful going-away/housewarming present! Chatbooks pulls social media posts together to create a darling little coffee table book that’s totally customizable. Hannah made one chronicling our entire friendship, from our first week at EY taking in a Twins game all the way up to the Ordway Gala just a couple months ago…and I couldn’t NOT cry going through the digital preview with her (over a Rojo margarita, of course!).

Saying goodbye to her and to Kelsie honestly broke my heart – I think I cried harder after saying goodbye to Kels than I ever have, even at the height of post-Jon breakup woes. Fortunately, I know these two are true-blue, thick and thin, bridesmaid-level lifelong friends, and that means they have NO excuse to not make it out to California for visits! Right, guys?!

Also fortunately, I’m lucky to have great friends in my roommates. Living with Dave and Laura will go a long way toward easing the social stress of trying to build a new community out here, and I’m already well on my way to making more friends – via Notre Dame connections, great new colleagues, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone to strike up conversations and get involved in new ways.

There are, however, two people who are truly irreplaceable…my mama and papa bear.

You guys, there aren’t words to capture how much Mom and Dad did for me in the time leading up to this move. When I was planning the move and stressing over whether it was completely insane, they had my back and offered constant support and encouragement. They had an intrinsic sense of when I needed a little tough love to buck up and deal with my feelings, and when I needed a little extra pep talking and cherishing.

My dad undertook crazy home improvement projects for my future apartment without batting an eye, even though I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. He listened to me dissect every interview the moment I hung up with the interviewer, packed and cleaned my apartment with me, and cooked me legit every meal I’ve ever loved in the weeks before I left.

And my mom. You guys. When my movers showed up a few weeks ago, I unpacked to find that not a single dish or glass had been broken, thanks to the care she took in packing genuinely my entire kitchen for me. I’ve already waxed rhapsodic about how amazing she was on the road trip out here, but that doesn’t even scratch the surface. She made my first week in California so much fun – a day trip to Napa, exploring the city with me, and making probably a dozen trips to Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond without a whisper of complaint. She kept me laughing and dried my tears, and I’m pretty sure is singlehandedly responsible for preventing at least three car accidents by being my second set of eyes in the Honda (still working on the whole “driving like a homicidal Californian” thing, tbh).

I count myself as inimitably fortunate to have these people as my parents. Their patience with and faith in me, despite my nerves, in the face of my insecurities, against all odds, is the bedrock upon which I was able to take this enormous leap of faith. Knowing how proud they are of me for doing so keeps my own faith in this adventure at its highest, and is probably the only reason I’ve been able to approach the move and this enormous life change thinking the glass is more than half-full every. single. day.

I’m already counting down the days til their first visit out here later this month, but in the meantime I’m talking to both of them on the phone daily (okay, sometimes twice daily, NO SHAME) and loving our family group text more than ever before. And you better believe I’m playing the long game of encouraging a NorCal retirement someday…after all, the biggest Anthropologie in the country IS right on my doorstep, and wine country is a day trip away!

So much love and gratitude to the people in my life who have had and continue to have my back, regardless of my zip code. Thank you, thank you, thank you.