I moved to Minnesota again. My dad was nice enough to help me find a place in Apple Valley. School was starting soon, and he took every opportunity to remind me of it as we lugged a 200lb couch up two flights of stairs to my apartment.
I had decided to be a radio DJ after visiting my friend Adam and his girlfriend down in Iowa. They were both DJs and I had realized how much music was a part of my life. Napster was released that fall and I must have downloaded a few hundred thousand songs in preparation for a radio career.
I was working at Home Depot, living paycheck to paycheck, but I had never felt more alive. I made friends with three guys.. Dennis, Brian and Joe at school and would see Kris or Josh whenever they came to town.
I got an internship at a radio station that spring, after the school I was going to tried telling us we would start our careers in small town. I was convinced I’d prove them wrong, so I got the internship to start off on the right path. Brian and Joe also joined me and we had a blast. My first concert of my life was a three day festival, meeting multiple rock stars, and partying from sundown to sun up. I was celebrating that I finally felt like I was home again.
Radio didn’t work out. After 9/11, the industry changed and I eventually moved on. I can look back the 6 years I spent as a DJ with fondness, but it just wasn’t a career that would pay the bills. Despite the career change, I still felt at home in Minnesota.
What has always fascinated me was the draw of this city. It has endured prohibition and mobsters, weathered a logging boom, fostered a Minnesota music scene in the 80’s (thanks Prince) and 90’s (thanks Semisonic and Soul Asylum), and it is an ever-changing mess of a life that always provides a beauty that can’t be found anywhere else. Whether I am walking to work and taking pictures of beautiful buildings, hiking in any of the amazing parks, or out people watching, I am always amazed at the beauty of my city. I may see incredible sights when I travel, I may adore South Dakota, I may be born in Iowa, but I found my life and love in Minnesota.
My daughter was born here, and in a matter of weeks, my son will be too. I hope someday, they find the same beauty I see here. Plain and simple, Minnesota my home and there is no place like it.