The question I get asked most often when I introduce myself to someone new in the FM area is, “Why the heck did you move to Fargo?”
While I originally was a little surprised by this comment, and would stumble with my words to come up with an answer, I’ve now gotten into a routine with my “elevator speech” like response. “For a boy.”
A year ago, I was living in Washington State and serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with a program called Washington Reading Corps. I had moved to Washington in May of 2009 as a bright eyed graduate from James Madison University in Virginia. My year of AmeriCorps was soon ending, and I was beginning to contemplate my next move. It was around that time that I received a phone call from my boyfriend, Blake, in which he said, “I got into NDSU. Looks like I’m headed to Fargo!”
Priding myself on my sense of independence and cringing at the idea of following a man anywhere, led alone a place where I had no family, no connection, and no idea what I was getting myself into, I decided to have a glass of wine and start job hunting. If I was supposed to move to Fargo, I’d get a sign. That sign came sooner than I thought when I stumbled across an AmeriCorps position with Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity in Moorhead as the PR/Marketing VISTA. While I wasn’t thrilled at living below the poverty line for another year, this was my dream job– PR/Marketing for a non-profit.
I interviewed with the organization over the phone, and then came the inevitable question, “So, why do you want to come to Fargo/Moorhead?” To which I replied, “Well, it sounds like a great opportunity.” <<pause>> “So, you know it gets pretty cold here, right?” To which I replied, “Yeah, I can handle it.”
It’s been a few months since I’ve arrived, but I have come to realize how much I absolutely love the Midwest and its unique charm. I have played my first game of beer darts, learned what a “hotdish” is, survived my first winter, and I’m preparing to tackle my first sandbagging experience. I have tried to embrace the Midwest, and build relationships with some of the friendliest people I have ever come in contact with in my entire life. I am saddened by how many people still associate a movie with a wood chipper as a good representation of this unique community.
In this blog, I’ll share my experiences in North Dakota and the Midwest (lutefisk excluded), and shed a little light on the glories that the Midwest has to offer. I’ll try to become truly Midwestern.