A brief update about a big change in my life: I’m moving to Minneapolis in two weeks! Much to my delight, I was accepted a few months ago into the creative writing MFA program at the University of Minnesota, and that’s where I’ll spend the next three years reading and writing and teaching in the company of some fantastic classmates and professors. I am truly so excited to get started. I feel like I’m taking one step closer to the life I’ve been dreaming of forever: a life where I get to wake up every morning, make myself a cup of coffee, sit down at my desk, and write for hours. All the time I’ll have to write, unencumbered by a day job… it’s thrilling and kind of terrifying to consider. Who knows what weird shit I’ll come up with?
In between me and this dream life, of course, are the hellish logistics of moving. Never an easy task, even when you’re just moving a few miles, which is basically all I’ve ever done. I’ve got a running to-do list on my computer that seems to expand every day, and there’s a constant voice in my head needling me to call this person or email that person, and my room is starting to fill up with boxes, and I keep forgetting who knows I’m moving and who doesn’t. At this point I am pretty sure it’s most people who I’ve spoken to in the last couple months. But I know that inevitably I’ll get a text from someone after I’ve left, wanting to catch up somewhere in Los Angeles, and I’ll have to share the whole story yet again.
Because I have always been in Los Angeles! It’s where people know they can find me. It makes up an embarrassingly large part of my identity. I’ve lived here since I was a baby and I love it with all my heart, and the prospect of trying to make a new city my home is really scary. I don’t know anyone in Minneapolis. Sure, I’ll have my classmates, and there are some friends of friends I can reach out to. But I don’t have preexisting bonds there. I don’t have a dense, easy web of friendship into which I can embed myself, the way I do in LA. I know it’ll be a lot of work to build that up from scratch. And I have to be honest, I don’t know if I’m quite up to the task. It takes me a long time to make new friends. Once I have them, I tend to keep them, but the work at the beginning is slow and often awkward for me.
To be fair to myself, I’m basing my assessment of how well I make friends on the last time I was in a situation where I had to conjure a new social life from nothing, which for me was at the beginning of college. I’m not the person I was at eighteen—not even close. In many ways I think I am easier now to befriend. But then again, eighteen-year-old me hadn’t spent two out of the last three years trapped indoors with almost no social stimulation due to a global pandemic. Win some, lose some.
Can you tell that my move is all I’ve been thinking about, all day, every day, for the past three months? Don’t let my spiraling here give you the wrong idea: I’m 95 percent excited, 5 percent scared. I genuinely can’t wait to get to Minneapolis and start living this new reality instead of just gaming it all out in my head. It’s going to be completely not what I expect in all the best and worst ways.
If any of you reading this are Twin Cities-familiar and have favorite spots there, please do hit reply and pass them on—I plan to do plenty of exploring.
See you later, Los Angeles. Don’t fall into the San Andreas Fault while I’m gone.