I am currently sitting at the Minneapolis International Airport, praying that the airplane on which I am about to board can outrun a raging blizzard. Yippy F#$king Skippy.
As a recent transplant from Florida to Minnesota, I am often asked why I would voluntarily choose to leave Paradise for life in the Frozen Tundra. (The word 'insane' is often used in the question.) When we packed up our worldly belongings in August and headed north, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Fast forward four months later, and I'm shivering my ass off. News Flash: This time of year, Minnesota gets cold. It gets BUTT-cold. It gets oh-shit-my-nipples-feel-like-they-are-going-to-friggin-fall-off cold. And it's not even Christmas. Jesus, what the hell was I thinking? I'm not swearing to the Lord; I'm literally asking Him.
Oh yeah, I remember. On the professional front, we moved for the career opportunities it afforded me. In only a short period of time, I have been able to generate significant new speaking gigs, and I believe it is directly attributable to being in a major metropolitan area like Minneapolis/St.Paul. I have also made some amazing connections, established growing friendships and had occasion to speak in front of large groups. These are all good things!
However, the more important reason for our reverse-migration has been the reconnection with my family and my roots. I was born in this Frozen Tundra forty years ago, and I have several family members that have been silly enough to remain living here (just kiddin', peeps!). What a joy is has been to have Thanksgiving with one of my brothers and his family, spend evenings playing cutthroat games of Rummikub with my niece who has suddenly grown into a woman when I wasn't looking, and chilling with my soul sis Susan while enjoying a glass of zin. Emma is on Cloud Nine-and-a-Half being so close the clan, and she proudly announces that her new BFF is her cousin Libby. To top it off, we get the pleasure of hosting Christmas Eve dinner at our home. Norman Rockwell we ain't, but it will be a great time nonetheless.
So, here I sit, fretting about the friggin' weather. I recall my husband quoting the James Cameron movie, The Abyss, whenever I start bitching about the cold or snow. He says, "We knew we were gonna see this". Yep, we knew that the weather was one of the drawbacks to our decision to move up north. But, you know what? No place is ideal. If you don't deal with blizzards every once in a while, you deal with hurricanes. If you don't deal with hurricanes, you deal with smog, fires, earthquakes, persistent traffic jams, outrageous real estate prices, or bad hairdos. Every place has a shitty part, no matter how you slice it. We made our decision to move to Minnesota based on intuition and heart, not number of inches of snow per year. We knew we were gonna see airport delays, snowplows, runny noses, and icy roads. But we also knew we were gonna see smiling faces on our children, friendly competitions of Apples to Apples around the fire, and houses full of laughter and love. My life is richer in every way for having come back home. When all is said and done, a blizzard every once in a while is a tiny price to pay.
But I won't be complaining when my plane lands in Sarasota.