Dreams Do Come True

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to live somewhere else and more specifically another state. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved Minnesota and have been proud to live here, but there was some internal draw to live somewhere else.

I was born in San Diego, California and when I was just three years old, my parents moved back to Minnesota which had been home for them. My exposure to the greater U.S. was limited as a child and I can count on one hand how many of my immediate family members have ever moved from Minnesota. As I grew up and heard stories and saw pictures of San Diego, I had an incredible desire to move there. It seemed like another world with the ocean and all of the sunshine. We also had family that lived in Virginia and when we would visit, we would go to Washington, D.C. and tour the White House and the Smithsonian and I fell in love with the history of that great area. As a child there is really nothing you can to do change where you live, so I found my escape at the library, reading books about places around the world and dreaming of what it would be like to visit or live there.

When I graduated from college I immediately started looking for jobs in San Diego and Washington, D.C.–the two other places with which I felt a connection. I had no professional network in either of them and didn’t really know how to find a job in another state, but I knew how to use a library for research, so I would go to the library and spend hours looking through newspapers from these two respective areas looking for jobs. Well, as you might imagine, this didn’t quite work out the way that I had hoped. I mailed my very, very short resume out to a number of entry level jobs and was fortunate enough to get a few rejection letters. Those letters helped bring some reality to the situation for me and I decided the timing wasn’t right and put my dream on hold.

As I continued to live and work in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area of Minnesota, my dream of moving remained, but it tended to be a sporadic visitor versus a constant friend. I got married in 2000 to a man who was born in Burnsville, Minnesota and had no interest or desire to ever move. So be it, I was more than OK with that plan! I had married my best friend and we had plans to travel the world and maybe own a second home somewhere warmer when we retired. Not my exact dream, but absolutely nothing to complain about. I was happy with my life and able to again purposefully
push aside my dream.

Randy and I started our lives together and as planned, it included travels to all kinds of different places in the U.S. and outside of the country. Every time we would travel, my dream of moving would surface again. I would find myself on vacation looking at real estate and job listings. Dreaming of potentially living in whatever location we were visiting, we started a regular practice of saying, “Could you live here someday?” to each other. The intention behind that question was supposed to be addressing our future retirement, but then we visited Portland, OR. On our first trip to Portland it was almost like we were afraid to ask “the question” of each other. After a couple of days, I asked “Could you live here someday?” to which Randy responded, “Yes.” This time it felt different. We both felt it and I wasn’t sure that waiting for retirement was the right choice. So in the midst of the worst economic state in history, a horrible real estate market and me with a stable, successful career in Minneapolis, we decided to put our house on the market and see what would happen.

Which brings us to today. It took 1.5 years to sell the house, the economy is still shaky, I left my career and we are MOVING! I now understand why it’s so hard to move and the older you get, just adds to the challenge. But in spite of the challenge or the length of time or the economy, my personal dream is coming true and I get to share the experience with my partner and best friend. It’s almost breathtaking for me to write that down.

So don’t give up on your dreams.

I heard Natasha Bedingfield on the radio today singing Unwritten and felt like these lyrics explain where I am at now.

Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Thank you all for sharing my journey and my dream with me.

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