Farewell Minnesota, it’s been ‘nice’ knowing you

I will soon trade in the snow and cold for wind and possible earthquakes. Yes, you read correctly. I’m moving to a place where earthquakes are more prevalent than the blizzards I’ve become accustomed to here in Minnesota.

I will be married next month. The big day is June 15. That’s approximately 35 days away but who’s counting? It went from being one year away to a matter of days. It’s all very exciting once you get over the fear of the cake not arriving on time or my favorite dream – me forgetting my veil and refusing to walk down the aisle without it. I actually dreamt this.

My fiancé, Richmond, attends graduate school in San Francisco. We met on a snowy evening in February in downtown St. Cloud. This was after he was accepted into graduate school, but he didn’t let the distance stop him. On my first visit there two years ago, he proposed. I said yes and for the last year and a half have been preparing for the transition into married life and the move to the Golden State.

Richmond and I talk every day. Many of our conversations include exchanges about the work day, school work, the upcoming wedding and weather. I think our discussions of the weather are the reason we’re not going to live in Minnesota after we wed. I tried to make Minnesota appealing, reminding him this is the place that brought us together. As a writer, I like to think I have a way with words so I say things like, “Wouldn’t it be nice to live where it all began?” or “How romantic it will be to live in the same city where we met.” While I know he loves me, he doesn’t buy it.

I’ve even tried the argument, “At least in Minnesota we’ll experience all four seasons.” He still won’t budge. After the spring we’ve had, I can kind of understand (I probably should’ve embellished the snow stories a little).

A native of Liberia, Richmond lived in Minnesota for eight years but has no plans to return – yet. I’ve lived here for four years and it will be hard to leave. Even though I’m a Clevelander at heart, Minnesota has become my home, snow and all.

I did a lot of growing here. I moved here from Cleveland to pursue my journalism career. After an internship at the St. Cloud Times in 2007, I was invited to join their staff the following year. I was there for three-and-and-a-half years before joining the staff of the St. Joseph Newsleader. I covered the city of St. Joseph for the Times so joining the Newsleader staff was a great fit. In the year I’ve been with the Newsleader, I’ve not only learned more about the city but made some friends along the way. I will miss my colleagues and the people who’ve allowed me to interview them and share their stories. I’m grateful to have been trusted with those moments.

Journalists work to inform. It’s not their job to make friends along the way. We have a responsibility to defend the public’s right to know. Well, as I did my job, it was hard not to make connections. These connections will stay with me as I journey to California.

When I moved here, I had heard of the whole “Minnesota Nice” culture. I moved here alone and hoped it was true. It was reflected constantly during my internship so I was comfortable returning as a full-time resident. In the four years I’ve lived here, I can honestly say “Minnesota Nice” is not a cliché but a way of life. Minnesota has certainly been “nice” to me.

TaLeiza Calloway

TaLeiza Calloway is a professional journalist in Central Minnesota. Her byline has appeared in the St. Cloud Times and Central Minnesota Women Magazine. The Ohio native moved to Minnesota about four years ago. She joined the St. Joseph Newsleader staff as a reporter in November 2011.
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