Sunday, November 28, 2010

Reasons I Love Where I'm From

I went to Anodyne coffee shop with my husband for breakfast this morning. We had a very unusual night without the kids and we took advantage of every second of couple time. I do love a cup of chai and a breakfast sandwich in the morning! I sat and read the City Pages (our local "independent" news paper) and enjoyed a section delineating why Minneapolis is great, I couldn't agree more. So here is a short list of why I love where I'm from.

1.The Music! We have incredible local music, last night I saw Low and Jeremy Messersmith, I strongly encourage you to check them out online if you're not from the Twin Cities.

2. Lake Harriet is less than a mile from my house, it's beautiful to walk or bike around (on lovely paved trails) and in the summer it's safe to swim in.

3.Kingfield Farmer's Market is only open one day a week, June through October but we have fabulous artists, delicious veggies, fresh organic eggs and meat, artisan breads and cheeses and the Chef Shack which serves up yummy and healthy options for local foodies.

4. Gazillions of coffee shops. We've got Anodyne and Butter right here in our neighborhood.

5. Linden Hills neighborhood. Just across the lake lies the wee neighborhood of Linden Hills. You can stop in for a (generous) sample of bread at Great Harvest. Grab a cup of coffee from Coffee and Tea Ltd. then stop in at Wild Rumpus to browse children's books and visit the menagerie of animals who live there. If that's not your thing, stop in the knitting shop next door or head up the block to the beautiful Arts and Crafts style public library.

6. The number 18. This bus takes you into the heart of downtown. No paying for parking! Yay!

7. My neighbors. I know them, I like them, I'm lucky to have them.

8. Trees. We have a boatload of them in my neighborhood.

9. Summer festivals. From May Day in Powderhorn Park to the Lyn/Lake Street fair, there's always something hopping on the weekends in our fair city.

Well, I could go on and on, but that'll do for now. What makes the place you live, marvelous?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Big Changes Afoot

Over a year ago I began pursuing my masters degree in nursing with the aim of one day becoming a nurse midwife. Birth has been my passion and my life since I was nineteen. As I'm coming up on my thirty-fifth birthday, those of you who are numerically inclined can figure out that that's sixteen years. Sixteen years is a long time to hold a dream in your heart, so it came as a surprise to me to find that it's a dream I no longer want to pursue.

But let me back up a bit. Last year I had a little nervous breakdown in the Spring and realized that I need to take better care of myself and that at the time I needed a break from school. I couldn't exactly drop my parenting gig and I needed to continue working but something had to give and so school went away for a time. I had a wonderful summer, I took medication for my depression, I worked out and spent time outside. I played. I planted a garden. Life was good.

Renewed and rejuvenated I went back to school in the Fall. But I felt stuck. The work wasn't terribly challenging but I just couldn't do it. I felt like the subjects I was studying had no more to do with learning to catch babies than digging a ditch! I would lie awake at night crying and thinking about the slavery I was selling myself into. Slavery to a system I felt was abusive to women and babies, and the slavery of debt and I the thought came "just quit". Quit? Would that be....failure? How could I face anyone? What about the time I'd already spent working towards this goal? What about the last sixteen years of my life? "You do have other interests, don't you" came that little voice. I considered that, I have a lot of loves, a lot of interests, could I possibly pursue any of them?

Well, I'm officially resigning from the program after this holiday weekend and I can't wait. I want to go back to school and learn to speak Italian, or Arabic, I want to throw pottery and write. It's a fascinating, if a little scary, journey to be on, in this uncharted territory. I can't wait to see what happens next.