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.

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