Feeling Better About Minnesota

Despite my apprehension about my new job, I have begun to feel progressively better about being in Minnesota. Or rather, as I began and ended this week (Monday and now today), I was — and currently am — feeling positive.


For all that visiting Chicago has made me desperately miss it and wish I were still/already living there, my brief time back has also, perhaps counterintuitively, made me feel better about spending the next year in Minnesota. Let me be clear: I miss Chicago; I miss my friends; I wish more than I can articulate that I were living there now. And yet, the fear that I’m going to be forgotten if I stay away is slowly ebbing. That fear was really fueling the need to get back now — the feeling that not only do I not want to wait, I can’t wait, or else I’ll lose everything and everyone I miss so much. It’s a stupid, irrational fear, but it was strong.

And now I’m working on mastering that fear. I think my few days in Chicago have only strengthened my friendships. I miss my friends already, and I can hardly stand the idea that I’ll be away for over a year, but I don’t think I’ll have to start over when I come back.


I went to the 2011 Minnesota Trans Health and Wellness Conference today. When I went in 2009, it was a really influential event because I had only recently started questioning my gender, and it was the first time I’d experienced being around so many trans and gender-variant people — especially people who weren’t fellow Mawrtyrs (people of a variety of ages, backgrounds, and experiences).

It was different today because I have so many trans and genderqueer friends (community outside the conference), and my own concept of myself as a trans-identified individual has grown a great deal. I’ve learned more, and I’ve become more comfortable in who I am. Being in a big group of transfolks is not unfamiliar.

At the same time, it was still a good experience. There were several really interesting workshops, and I thought the keynote speaker was excellent. I saw a close friend briefly; I recognized a number of acquaintances; I made new friends. We had post-conference fried green tomatoes with macaroni and cheese. I feel like I might be gaining connections and roots into the community, and it’s a good feeling.

I got back home about half an hour ago and was greeted by a package from a Chicago friend. It contained a book and an amazing card with a really inspiring and sweet message that just about made me cry (in a “I feel cared about and believed in” sort of way) and makes me feel as though I can, and will, get through this job without giving in, or selling out, or losing an essential part of who I am.

I still miss my friends in Chicago, and Chicago itself, more than I can say. I’m still not ready to say that the Twin Cities is where I’m meant to be for now. But I do think that my time here will be good for me, in the long run, and things are really starting to look up.

One response to “Feeling Better About Minnesota

  1. Pingback: Books I’m Reading This Fall | Beyond Bryn Mawr

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