It Hurts To Breathe

I take a deep breath in, and immediately regret it. My lungs start to freeze, the ice constricting my airway. I feel my heart start to slow, thump, thump, thump……..thump, thump……..thump…………thump. My throat closes up as I grab at it, trying to get it to start working again. I’m looking around, desperately trying to find help, but the sea of people around me continue on, walking a little faster as the wind kicks up. I’m dying.

Okay, so I’m being a little dramatic, but if you walked outside around 9 am, then you know what I’m talking about. Everything about being outside hurts. I swear, it’s like I walk out my front door to be met with a punch in the face from someone I thought was my best friend. It’s the physical pain, along with the deep betrayal that the sight of the sun brings.

And I had the opportunity of working today, which was grrreeeaaattt. Really. Because walking around campus in -20 degree weather is my life’s dream. And of course people showed up for the campus preview, even when they looked at the prospected weather, because it’s Northern Minnesota and people are crazy.

Thankfully, I was the first one to volunteer to stand at Oak Hall and hold the door open for the tour groups coming by. For those of you who don’t know what Oak Hall is, it’s the largest freshman residence hall at Bemidji State University. It’s also heated.

Bright side though, it should be warming up this week, hopefully just in time for my tour on Friday.

Also, for those of you who have been keeping up with my posts, I have started watching The Office again…. so I’m back in the black hole.

 

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Living in the Tundra

Today, I almost caused an accident.

I didn’t mean too. One second I was driving my car, coming up to a red light, listening to some alternative punk rock band and trying desperately to see through my fogged up, iced front window and the next, I was sliding forward into traffic. Thankfully I somehow managed to turn right in an opening and nothing serious happened. But it could’ve been bad.

This is what happens when a Southern California girl moves to Northern Minnesota.

It’s not like it is my first winter. It’s my third. But it’s still dangerous. I don’t think I’ll ever master the art of snow and black ice and situations where breaking actually makes things worse.

When I tell everyone where I’m from, I get a ton of reactions. Weird looks, tons of questions, people telling me that I’m crazy, and my personal favorite, the checking of my reaction to the weather.

I get it. LA is far. It has a reputation. It’s practically summer all year ’round. Beaches are awesome. Tan is a skin tone. Bemidji is cold. Snow sucks. Vitamin D deficiency is a thing. Looking like one of the Undead is fashionably in.

And I’ll be the first to say that some days, I hate it here. Some days I want to pack my bags and fly back to sunny California and never see snow again. Days like today.

But most days I love it here. I look around, see the snow, breathe in the non-polluted fresh air, and thank my 18 year old self for picking this place to attend school. I love that fall is actually fall and not stereotypical white girls buying Pumpkin lattes while wearing shorts and flip flops. I love that Christmas feels like Christmas with Santa’s actually wearing the big red suit and not board-shorts while riding a surfboard.

Call my crazy, but this place feels more like home than Southern California ever did.

Now I’m not saying I want to live here forever. Because for all the pros, the cons severely suck. I mean, how much snow can a human want see and experience in a lifetime. It’s been snowing all day today and I’m so over it. It’s only January 14th. And believe me when I say that chanting “it’s not cold” over and over again does not work when it’s -20 degrees out.

Hopefully it stops snowing tomorrow.