Leaving Minnesota

As Minnesotans — natives and adopters — we’re obsessed with how others see us. Maybe we should spend a few moments considering how we see us and consider our good fortune.

Amelia Rayno, the Star Tribune reporter for the last eight years, has left the state. She’s going to live a more nomadic existence, see the world, and do some freelancing work to pay the bills along the way. Risk taking makes those of us who don’t take it envious.

But we still get to live here which is a pretty good thing despite the warts of the place, she reminds us in her farewell letter she published today.

My job, too, was fun, mostly, and mostly kept me fulfilled.

The things I didn’t like — the city layout, the insane driving tendencies, the area’s segregation — I learned not to talk about. You guys really know how to jump down the throat of a complaining transplant, P.S.

Maybe deciding to ignore them psychologically dimmed those aspects in my mind.

Early on, people told me it was hard to make new friends in Minnesota — because people aren’t as interested in meeting new people, or settle down early, or already have a lot of friends because they grew up in the surrounding area.

I never felt that. I met one of my best friends, Jill, within a couple months of moving. And over eight years, I developed a network — particularly with incredible women doing amazing things — that is bigger and stronger than any I’ve had in any place I’ve lived.

When I left, the tears came fast and without warning. The place I meant to stay just three months had become my home.

She never got used to the cold, she writes.But the warmth she found made it hard to say goodbye.

From the archive: A Minnesota Love Letter (NewsCut)