As you read this, my mom and I are somewhere in western Minnesota or South Dakota, in a black Honda Civic packed to the gills with three suitcases, two lamps, a potted plant, and every article of clothing that was once hanging in my Loring Park walk-in closet. I said goodbye to the Twin Cities this morning, although it feels like I've been saying goodbye for a lot longer.
Since I decided on this move, I've been thinking so much about Minneapolis. How this city has defined and shaped me for the last six years as a young adult, but really for my entire life. I had an almost out-of-body moment en route between goodbye parties last Friday, when I passed the building where I started my professional career at Ernst & Young. The café table where I sat the morning of my job interview was vacant, and I could almost see myself...black Calvin Klein suit, turquoise silk blouse from J.Crew, headphones in and my pump-up playlist blasting as I sipped a Caribou cold press. I remember feeling like my whole life was about to start that morning, and I imagined it all taking place right there.
To think that I'm taking such a sudden, intentional left turn and leaving this city, this state, behind...it's a bit mind-boggling. I will miss so much about Minneapolis. I will miss how it feels like I can get anywhere in half an hour or less. Similarly, I will miss being able to see the skyline from half an hour away in almost any direction, thanks to Minnesota's prairie flatness. I'll miss the stillness of the Lakes on a summer morning, and the sunsets over Loring Park. The way the snow squeaks under boots when it gets teeth-hurtingly cold, and watching flaming red sugar maple leaves fall on Cathedral Hill in Saint Paul.
Spoon and Stable happy hours, Tattersall's patio, and exploring new restaurants with friends and family. The moment when Erin Keefe tunes the Minnesota Orchestra, or settling into the rose velvet seats at the Ordway for another opera. The view from the Endless Bridge at the Guthrie. Baking in the sun at Target Field every summer, and watching Notre Dame games with friends at the Crooked Pint (actually, I WON'T miss the Crooked Pint at all...). And honestly, those friends, and my family. These are the things I'm intentionally giving up in leaving here, and when I stop to really think about that, it's a bit gut-searing.
I just realized that 3rd Street downtown becomes Central in Nordeast. Isles Bakery, my favorite little breakfast hole in the wall, isn't so little anymore after an expansion. Continually realizing and discovering little gems like that make me happy, and remind me that there is still so much about this city that I don't know and haven't explored.
While I am incandescently excited to take this next step, I can't deny how bittersweet it feels to close this specific chapter. Saying goodbye (for now?) to the city that has played such a huge role in shaping who I am today breaks my heart, but makes me incredibly grateful to have had those moments. Four apartments, one broken heart, numerous friends, one first date at a VFW, too many cocktails, 57 Guthrie shows, two jobs, three promotions, and myriad adventures later, I think that I can comfortably say that the girl waiting in the lobby for her EY interview would be excited and proud and thankful to be where she is today. I am. And though I'm so excited for the next chapter in California, I'm completely okay with saying "Au revoir" instead of "Adieu" to the Twin Cities.
Til we meet again, you lovely.