It’s hard to imagine many things happier than living together in a city filled with friends. That’s all most of us can ask for, right? To be grounded in a city where we feel connected to the people around us. To be able to throw a dinner party at the behest of a phone-call or two.
A month after we got engaged, Jon received a job offer from a company in Mondovi, Wisconsin – a town of 2,700. Mondovi’s claim-to-fame is that there isn’t a street-light in the entire town. Residents may roam freely.
When we first met, Jon’s job required working late-nights (midnight on a week day) and weekend hours (usually Saturday and Sunday from noon-five). I wanted to be able to spend more time together, and Jon promised to make that happen. Perhaps, I shouldn’t have been too surprised when he came home with a bottle of champagne and a map. Beggars can’t choosers, after all.
Deciding to leave Chicago – my sweet family, my friends, and my job – was incredibly scary. I’d moved half a dozen times in my life, but this was the first time it felt like leaving home.
Why the sudden unease? Previous moves had come with a built-in social network, a group of friends that would make transitioning more comfortable. When you start college, for example, you’re beginning a new life with thousands of other people that are embarking on a new journey. With a bit of luck, you’ll experience the ups-and-downs of college alongside people that will become lifelong friends.
We lived in Mondovi for just over a year, and then Jon’s company moved us to downtown Minneapolis. Once again, I felt uncomfortable about the move and the prospect of making new friends. Rumors that Minneapolites were as cold as the weather made me nervous:
New Years Eve marked 7 months in Minneapolis, and Jon and I decided to spend the evening sipping champagne and playing games with friends. I went shopping for party crowns and horns and hats before the event, and as I tried to match celebratory gear to my friends’ personalities, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude for all the truly kind people I’ve met here.
The Minneapolites that I call friends are down-to-earth, genuine, and fun. Mixing a group of them together for an NYE party made for a perfect night. When the clock struck midnight, I kissed my sweetheart and thanked my lucky stars that our adventures had landed us in such lovely company.