Discovery; Or, a Love Long Ignored

This weird thing has been happening to me this summer.

This summer living with my parents in my hometown in the suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul. “The Cities,” as us locals call them. You don’t just go to Minneapolis or St. Paul when you make a visit to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan area–you go to “The Cities.”

“The Cities,” as if one can’t exist like they other. As if they depend on each other for a mutual and comfortable existence.

— — — —

Well, they don’t. We locals lump them together for convenience. We know that going to “The Cities” means you’re visiting, if not both Minneapolis and St. Paul, at least one of them. Doesn’t matter which one.

But the thing is–they are very much they’re own unique entities with their own histories and their own stories.

All my life, I’ve grown up in the shadow of these cities thinking I was born in the wrong place, that I didn’t belong here. I hated Minneapolis. St. Paul was a mystery since I never went there (and it’s still a mystery since I still never go there), but Minneapolis was the antithesis of what I wanted in my life. It was just another stop in this great flat space in the middle of the United States called the Midwest. Fly over land? Sounded pretty accurate to me.

What, then, did I want in my life exactly? To live anywhere but here. Though preferably on a coast. Preferably in a place that people didn’t simply fly over…

…Or so I thought.

— — — —

Because this weird thing is happening this summer.

After years of rejecting this metropolitan area that has been my home since I was born, I’m realizing something…

I think I’m falling in love with Minneapolis.

What?

Is this possible?

I had this thought the other day as I was light railing into Minneapolis and it took me a bit by surprise…but it also made me profoundly happy.

It’s true, though…I’ve been exploring Minneapolis more in my free time. Visiting friends who live in the city itself. Adventuring to places I’ve never been before. Areas of the city I’d heard about, but somehow haf never made my way to before this summer.

And I love it.

The quirky culture. The history. The adorable coffee shops and the lakes.

I’m finding a beauty here that I never knew existed before.

An excitement, a livelihood, a heart.

And I love it. 

— — — —

Do I want to stay here forever?

I don’t think so.

I don’t want to live here. At least not at this time in my life.

But this new found appreciation for my home leaves me wondering–did I really ever have a problem with it in the first place…or was it the fear and uncertainty within myself that left me unable to see it and love it for this place full of so much energy and life that it’s always been?

IMG_20150725_191630414_HDR
A slightly unconventional location for a skyline photo–but I found myself drawn to the starkness of this view of Minneapolis from Downtown East.
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33 thoughts on “Discovery; Or, a Love Long Ignored

  1. A beautifully thoughtful post Britta. Sometimes it can just be “the grass is greener” and taking your location for advantage but it sounds like you really didn’t have an affinity for the cities. But I’m glad you have a new appreciation. And the photo is wonderful – the reflection in the water, the colours and the sky – just lovely.

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    1. Really, I hated this area. I never felt like I belonged here when I was growing up. I would go into Minneapolis and it just felt wrong. I don’t necessarily know if I belong here, now, but I do appreciate it so much more than I used to. There is so much beauty and so much to explore–something I never realized before.

      Thank you so much for your kind comment, Desley. Just goes to show that sometimes the unconventional locations can yield the best photos.

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      1. Absolutely, but I think that feeling is common among young people who are growing up. I think much of my new appreciation for my home is simply that I’m older and have matured a lot in the past couple years.
        I will try my best to do lots of exploring and have fun while I’m at it!

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    1. Thank you so much, Z. Maybe one day you’ll make it over here. Minneapolis is really a beautiful city. Just don’t come here in the winter unless you want to freeze. Our winters here are brutal.

      Minneapolis– “Minne” like the Minnie in Minnie Mouse, “app” like a phone app, “o” as in the letter O, and “lis,” rhymes with kiss. Now just say it all together and there you have it–Minneapolis. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve just said it aloud a few times – it’s such a strange but cool name!
        Also, it’s always freezing here so….id fit in well!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post. I am similar to you in that, although I was born and have lived in my hometown all of my life, it wasn’t until recently that I have started to go out, explore, and appreciate the sights and sounds of the city. There is a kind of paradoxical beauty to discovering the familiar, and so I grealy enjoyed your thoughts on it. 🙂

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  3. Love the reflection of the buildings! See, I’m really a visual person! haha. But yes, you will eventually find the place for you or maybe you are born to live in so many places in your lifetime! Who knows? You will never really know until you leave the comforts of home. But what is home? Cliche as it maybe but I believe that home is where your heart is, right? 😉

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    1. Thank you so much, Belle!
      I completely agree. Yesterday on my date, the guy I was with asked me where my dream location to live was and I just said, I don’t know. I need to see more of the world and travel a bit more before I can decide that…and, as you said, perhaps I’ll never find that place. Perhaps I’ll be too enamored by the world as a whole to have that one place that I dream of settling down to.
      Home IS where your heart is! I don’t think any place will ever feel quite like home if you’re not satisfied with yourself.

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  4. It is interesting how a place grows on you. I was born and raised in San Diego then met a man and moved to Sacramento where we got married. I hated it at first, flat…and not San Diego. We moved back to SD for 2 years, and I couldn’t wait to move back to Sacramento, where I have been 30 years. SD is a great place to visit, but sacramento has become my home. Enjoy where you are and be amazed by its charms. Cool photo!

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    1. Thank you so much, Terri!
      I am trying my best to enjoy it now that I appreciate it a little more–especially since I’ll be leaving here for Thailand in a month and a half. I never realized how beautiful Minneapolis is until recently…and who knows where I’ll call home in the future!

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  5. What a great piece Britta. It is good that you have documented this now and will be interesting to see how you feel on your first trip back from your upcoming adventures. I want you to post a follow up, please? Your description of fear and uncertainty is a good explanation and very insightful but I think it is also that you have a new set of eyes and experiences since you went away to college. I do not come from the city in which I live. It was not my original choice to live here but it is my choice now. I can appreciate what it has to offer because I have lived all over the country – all 4 corners to be exact. I tell young people that grew up here to get out and see the world. Then come back if you wish to because then you will appreciate both the upside and down side to the area.

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    1. Thank you, so glad you enjoyed it! I will try my best to remember to post a follow up upon returning from Southeast Asia. 🙂
      Oh, my experiences at college certainly contributed to my new outlook. That said, as much as I learned inside the classroom, I also grew a lot outside of the classroom and my experiences in college helped me to really find my inner confidence.
      I guess your story just goes to show that you never know where live will take you. Wherever I end up, I’m sure it will all work out for the best in the end.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I like this city shot as it looks real and not a PR campaign shot. I had a friend who didn’t like Manchester she just wanted to leave and said it was boring (it’s a great cosmopolitan city with it’s little quirks) but it was she that wasn’t settled or happy herself. I’m glad you feel more at ease these days and can appreciate your hometown more objectively.

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    1. Thanks so much, Chrissie! I love your compliment! PR shots are nice and all, but they can also be a little misleading/borderline cheesy. 🙂

      I’m glad I’m more at ease, too. Life is just all around better because of that.

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  7. I love that photo, the reflection is awesome. I think you’re feeling this way cuz you’re leaving! I hated my suburb during high school, then when it was time to go to college I was like BUT THERE’S SO MANY THINGS TO LOVE (although, for the record, I hate it again now that I’ve left). I dunno. The Midwest is weird. I’d like to go to Minneapolis (outside the airport anyway) someday just because I haven’t experienced many big American cities, and why not?

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    1. Thanks Sabina! Yes, that’s definitely part of the reason I’m feeling this way. I honestly never realized how beautiful Minneapolis is until recently. Last night, I was at a lake in the city and had a fantastic view of Downtown across the lake–and I just couldn’t believe how this gorgeous view has always been so close to me, yet I was only just seeing it then.

      Haha, the Midwest is SO weird. and flat. Very flat. I love the Midwest because it’s where I was born, but I don’t think I’d want to live in any other state in the Midwest besides Minnesota. If you can ever get a chance to visit, I recommend it. Minneapolis is a really great city and I’ve heard that St. Paul is really building itself up, too, and becoming its own fun and unique destination. Let me know if you do visit–even if I’m not here, I’d love to give you recommendations for places to visit. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Been there! Growing up I hated my town too, couldn’t wait to get the hell out of dodge. Now that I live 800 miles away, I look forward to going home and visiting. Because of that I have a new love and appreciation for my hometown.

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  9. I love Minneapolis too. I love going to concerts at all the quirky clubs. Every time I get to walk around (which isn’t often), I think about how much I’d love to live in a tiny apartment and get to know the city’s corners. But, like you, I don’t think I’d ever live there.

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    1. Haha, yes! I think, as I’m preparing to leave for a far off place in a few weeks, I’m starting to really appreciate the beauties of my hometown. There’s so much beauty here that I never realized before.

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