This past July, I moved from Miami Beach to Minneapolis. You’re wondering “why?” and upon moving here, I asked myself the same thing. My answer to this is: my intuition. I felt it was the move. Everyone thought I was kidding, or crazy.
The Midwest had always attracted me. I considered going to college in the region. I moved here knowing one person, who spoke so highly of Minnesota, which I, at the time, didn’t realize was characteristic of most Minnesotans. (I’m from Florida — other than the Dolphins’ 1972 perfect season, we don’t have very much to be proud of…)
It feels silly to even point out the stark difference between Miami and Minneapolis; one a glamorous party town, associated with sandy beaches and cocaine, and the other an underrated, freezing Metropolis that becomes heaven on earth during the Summer (when I visited for the first time in June, I had to ask my friend what the whimsical, wispy “stuff” was in the air. It was cotton.)
I moved to another planet. It is the most uncomfortable thing I’ve ever done. It meant starting from square one in every aspect of life (this includes driving. The first time I drove when it was super cold outside, I had no idea how to de-fog the windows. I drove on the highway with my windows open so I could see. Later that night, I learned what a defrost button is…)
This is the happiest I have ever been. It was not always like this. For many months, I questioned the decision and felt lonely, but held onto the faith that led me here in the first place. It was not without putting myself in uncomfortable situations that I found a place here. I wish I’d counted how many rooms I walked into before feeling like I belonged. I was living by the mottos of “show up” and “just do it.”
I sought out jobs in the Twin Cities, while still in Florida, and worked to connect with whoever possible. In May, I came across a job at my current company Denamico, and became determined to work here. My current boss Kristin and I spoke on the phone — she told me the company was looking to hire someone more experienced than I am. A month later, I traveled here for the first time for other interviews. I told Kristin I was visiting. Serendipitously, Denamico was hosting an event during my stay. Attendees were given the opportunity to introduce themselves. I stood up and said that I am from Miami and planned on moving to Minnesota (my current coworker apparently said, “Who the f***?”). The next day, I visited the Denamico office and was, to my surprise, interviewed (again). After the interview, I called my one friend here and told him that Denamico was it… I was relentless, and after completing a project, presenting it in person a month later, I was offered the job. A week later, I drove from Miami to Minneapolis to make the move.
It’s been eight months since moving to Minnesota and starting my job at Denamico. My own will is what facilitated my current state, but the characters along the way have largely shaped the experience, as well. The point, and you’ve heard it before, is that we can attain nearly anything we desire. It takes a hell of a lot of trial and error, facing rejection, and jumping into the unknown, but it’s worth it. If you fear being judged, know that the only people judging you are the ones who are too scared to make themselves uncomfortable. After all, you’re living out their fear seemingly fearlessly.
The huge lesson that I’ve shared with you has shown to apply to all areas of life. We have to just do it, and show up. In business, especially. We’re going to lose to competition, feel rejected, keep going, and win every now and then (as long as we show up). The other day, someone brought up how fish swim against the current. A fish that goes with the flow is a dead fish, and so to live is to go against the current.
Last, even writing and sharing this story (which is being expanded upon in book form) on LinkedIn of all places is uncomfortable to me. It’s “not my vibe,” I thought, but apparently it is now!
Thanks to the constantly surprising Midwest, and all of YOU characters along the way…