Hindsight 20/Something: You Moved Here from California?

by austin beaton

You Moved Here from California?

When I decided to pick up and move to a place I’d never been to, I didn’t imagine this “in between” feeling. I pictured more “this is what I came here for” moments. I thought I’d always feel free, like I was sitting on the edge of a plane about to jump out and fall into the world—all the time, from when I woke up, singing “Good morning Minneapolis!” (like in the musical Hairspray) to when I fell asleep.

I feel like when I walk down the street wearing my worn-in Rainbows, covered in bug bites, with a lost look on my face, everyone is looking at me thinking “she’s not going to make it”. It’s like I’m walking around with a sign on my head that says “Hey! Look at me, I have no idea what I’m doing here!”

But, then I remember:

I would rather be unhappy here in Minnesota than unhappy back home in California.

I wanted to swim in a bigger fishbowl. I wanted to be in a place where I could see and feel the energy and creativity around me. I wanted to feel small and unnoticed by everyone else preoccupied with their own lives to care what I was wearing or what I was doing.

I felt trapped in the repetitive narratives of California. I felt like everyone was tired of that damn game we were playing but no one wanted to be the first to give it up.

This is an excerpt from You Moved Here from California? an essay by Marie Campos in Hindsight 20/Something. Read the full version and learn more about the collection here.