6 July 2018
I’m sitting by a river in Minnesota. I don’t know much about it. It’s called Bear Creek (according to my phone). That seems fitting. Haven’t seen any bears yet. I’ll let you know.
The Minnesota part: As of two days ago, I live here now. Rochester specifically. I never thought of Minnesota as a place I wanted to live. A good opportunity came along that I couldn’t say no to. It was hard. It was also time. A year ago when I was writing you I was at the end of my rope. And out of desperation or fear or a messy combo of both I kept going. Turdel, there were some dark days. Dark days when I questioned just about everything.
But at the end of May two opportunities finally came up and I chose the one that brought me here next to Bear Creek. I suppose I’ve done crazier things. Eight years ago I had been in Chicago for almost a year. You knew I was in Chicago and called or texted me countless times.
A new place, a new job, a new life: one that you will never know me doing. A fully new and blank chapter. I suppose stories and memories of you will be present here and your picture is already sitting on my floor but that is not the same.
The world is a crazy place. I wonder if you would recognize it. I suppose I am grateful for the past year—I’m also very glad that it’s over.
Sometimes people ask me how grief is after 8 years: Is it less? Where does it go? It’s just different. It’s seeped into my bones and my soul. It’s both a part of who I am and a weight that I carry. I do know that I still want to call and text you. Maybe that impulse will never go away. I heard a podcast once about a telephone booth where people could go to sit and have conversations with their dead loved ones to say the things that were still important to say. The idea isn’t that the phone booth worked in any real way but that there would be space reserved for the important conversations and the grief. Makes a lot of sense to me.
So stay tuned for more stores of my Minnesotan life. Oh, and there’s a bike trail next to Bear Creek so if anyone in this town is up for a bear sighting, it will be me.