From rivers to rails and back again. Tonight I visited the birthplace of Minneapolis…St. Anthony Falls, the only true waterfall on the Mississippi River and the source of water power for sawmills, textile mills and flour mills that would build a city in the mid-1800s. Contrast that with Chicago, a city whose railroads contributed to its rise as a major transportation hub connecting the eastern and western U.S.
One side effect of moving includes a lingering sense of geographic disorientation. By day, I’m in Minneapolis; by night, my mind is in Chicago.
In random moments between being asleep and fully awake, I’ll make a mental checklist of the errands to make, the stores to visit and the roads I’ll take. And, then it hits me that I’m 400 miles away. From Chicago. I won’t be taking the Eisenhower, the Blue Line or Butterfield Road. Or, it suddenly occurs to me that my favorite pizza I’m pining to share with pals is now either a 7-hour drive or a “free” Diet Coke and a bag of pretzels away (if you’re lucky). My daily discourse with McFamily friends has shifted to Likes and comments. And, the two fitness centers (and regulars there) I often saw 5-6 times a week are no longer part of my routine, nor are my running buddies who helped me break a 3 mile plateau to finish my first half-marathon last June.
My four years in Chicagoland were the longest I’ve lived at the same mailing address in my adult life….many memories, stories and laughter shared, and friendships made. These are things not meant to be left behind, but to carry forward. And thanks to technology, I’m ever connected to those who have shaped my life in large ways and small.
It’s said that changing jobs (in addition to a relocation) can be one of the most stressful experiences you have. Luckily for me, it’s been a fun and relatively smooth transition as I find my new groove. I’m thrilled to once again call myself Minnesotan. You betcha.