I’ve been avoiding myself for the past few months. As an introvert and a devoted writer, I spend a lot of time on my own, analyzing my thoughts and taking the time to wade through the waves of my emotions. I write to make sense of it all, but as of late my life has been such a whirlwind that I shut off that part of my brain and tried to let sensibility take over. After deciding on a date to move to Seattle, I didn’t want to deal with the sadness and stress that I knew would be inevitable, so I said BRB to my journals and books I’ve started to write and threw myself into evasion of the emotions to come.
But here I am, less than a week out from heading west in a sixteen-foot truck that Budget is loaning me for way too much money, and I’m back. I’m back to the reality of writing that I’ve known and loved for as long as I can remember, and just in time to say goodbye to the people and places I’ve grown to love fervently over the past four and a half years. August would have made it five.
I moved to Minneapolis for a second time when I turned nineteen, ten years after my family spent three years in Minnesota while my dad went to school. Looking back, I’m not sure how I did it alone. How are seventeen and eighteen year old kids expected to leave everything they know and go off to college after the hell hole that is high school, which teaches you geometry and how to sew tote bags and not even enough Spanish to be useful? I gave myself an extra year at home after graduation, unsure of what I wanted then or in the future, before I made it out here and put myself through a struggle of a year at Bible college—I knew right away it wasn't for me and almost left halfway through the year—before I got tied up in a corporate banking job at Wells Fargo and got my first apartment all on my own. Somewhere in the middle of it all, I became an adult.
Minneapolis was a place of many firsts for me. I owe so much of that to the friends I’ve made here that were always eager to share their experiences and wisdom with me, but especially my older sister. I wouldn’t have even considered staying and building a life here if it wasn’t for Caitlin. She came here for college and found love and got stuck (my words, not hers. I love that she loves it here). Getting to spend more time with your best friend after she’s married and moved away is something that should never be taken for granted. We even got to travel the world together one summer a couple years back with an unforgettable trip to Italy.
Much of my life here has been about my brand. I grew my passion into a business in Minnesota, which has been about the biggest blessing of my life, and I tend to forget the fact that I have put in hard work to make it happen. I’ve gotten lucky with great opportunities, but I wouldn’t receive them without everything else I’ve ever done. I’ll admit, it’s unsettling to be leaving and not quite know what the future holds beyond crashing at my parents for the summer while I figure out finances and a place to live and hopefully don’t fall back into eighteen-year-old-daughter patterns, but I’m going back with so much more life in and behind me. As much as I’ve become truelane here, I’ve also made good progress becoming Chelsea.
The first time I said goodbye to Minneapolis, I was thirteen years old. I’m saying goodbye again at twenty-four with a plethora of different experiences behind me this time around. I’ve made new and lifelong friends (I literally have Instagram to thank for them) and lost touch with old ones, but also reconnected with someone else very special: myself. I was somewhat floundering when I came here. I didn’t know what was in store. And I’m just realizing this as I type this now…I’m leaving with a business and a vision for what it will become. I don’t believe there is one path for each of us in life that we are “meant to find,” but I’m on one, and it truly feels like I’m going the right way.