Bye Bye Bemidji

A belated but better late than never goodbye to Bemidji.

Hi, my name is Ori and I’m addicted to…moving? I’m not. I really hate moving but the facts don’t lie. Since moving out of my parents’ house at age 19: I’ve packed my things 12 times, lived in 6 cities (if you count Viking as a city), moved home twice and to my brothers once.

It’s definitely nothing to brag about. Quite frankly, it’s kind of embarrassing that I can’t find my footing anywhere I land. And it’s not like I’ve lived in 6 different cities around the world. They’ve all be within a 2 ½ hour drive of one another.

We moved to Bemidji last October for what I thought was the last time before “settling down” as they say and buying a home. But that was also 2 moves after I thought I was where I was going to be. We did our best to fully embrace all that Bemidji had to offer. I transferred within the company from my job in Grand Forks.

It’s a beautiful city and a handful of lakes are around the area. That’s what lured us in, the lakes. We don’t agree on many things but one thing Channing and I could always agree on was living on or near a lake. We worked with a realtor and looked at dozens of houses all hoping that “life” would work out in our favor.

Some would say that we didn’t give it enough time. I can see that I guess. But how much time do you give a place before you decide yay or nay?

Since leaving the house going into my 2nd year of college, I haven’t lived anywhere for more than 13 months. My shortest stint was 3 months in a shitty trailer and even shorter when I moved back home and to my brothers place.

I think if I was a single adult, some of my choices would have been different and I’m sure I’d be in a totally different area of the world, pursing a totally different career path, who knows. But I’m not living the single life and I’m glad I’m not.

I’ve made sacrifices being in a relationship, I think you have to. There is no world where you always get your way. Those that think so are full of shit and should end up alone. Life..love..they require compromise and it goes both ways.

Moving to Bemidji was a mutual decision. Channing wasn’t super happy with his job in Forks and there was an opportunity for me to transfer within the company I already had dedicated 2 years of my 20-something adult life to. I loved the people I worked with, but I needed a change. I wasn’t growing professionally where I was and there wasn’t any room for me to from my point of view.

We didn’t do the “research” when moving. Our thought process followed something like this:

  1. Ori can transfer, that’s great.
  2. We’re going to live in a beautiful city surrounded by water.
  3. This feels right.
  4. We don’t know the job market for Channing but it’ll be okay. Trust that it all will work out.

I mean, it kind of did. I’m not going to lie. It was a pretty city. I liked my job for the most part. Our realtor was one of a kind. We were pre-approved for a mortgage loan, ect ect. But it just wasn’t right, none of it felt right. Channing made just as much as a 16 year old working at McDonalds and finding an employer that offered health insurance for him was a bitch. We were pre-approved for a loan but it didn’t get us anywhere near what or where we wanted.

We’re not settlers. We have no interest in getting a fixer upper. We have no interest in living in a shitty neighborhood or an arm’s length away from our neighbor. Some will say we’re too picky but are we really?

So we talked and we talked and we talked some more. What are we going to do?

It was scary moving to Fargo. But exciting. Channing applied at a load of places and landed a pretty decent one. It was a tough but not so tough decision to move. I’m a pros and cons type of person so believe me when I say that I had my notebook with list after list of why we should or shouldn’t stay. There is so much more to every story ever written. Some people understand and some don’t. It is what it is I guess.

The decision was made and we jumped ship.

Fast-forward a month or so later, we’re now living in West Fargo and became cat parents. I transferred (thank you Lord) through the same company I’ve been working with the last few years, Channing found an alright job and we’re doing well.

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House Hunting Happenings

Sorry that I’ve been a little MIA lately. I have a few posts that I have sitting in my drafts waiting for me to finish. They are the type that I feel need time and effort put into them and I just haven’t had that laying around lately!

We’ve started looking at houses in the Bemidji area. It’s not an easy task, I can tell you that much. I don’t know if we’ll ever feel that we have all the information that we need to own a house. It’s like this whole world of grown-up-ness that you have to jump into without knowing how to swim.

Millions of people do it, I’m sure we can handle it. It’s scary though; mortgage, escrow, down payment, house inspector, wood stove….the list goes on. My dad thinks I’m too picky, he’s probably right. For the first few weeks, if I saw a baseboard heating register or a wood stove – NEXT! And for (in my opinion) completely sane reasons. First, I do NOT want any critters, rodents, or snakes for heavens sake to come through a register. (Yes, it’s happened and yes to me.) And second, I’ll probably somehow blow my house up or set it on fire if I have to rely on an actual fire in my house. Thanks for that, mom.

I’m trying to keep an open mind though. I know that with regular maintenance and actually taking care of and knowing the house that you live in, horrible circumstances should be far and few in between. Channing and I are ready to own a home though. Apartment living got old the second we signed our first lease years ago. No privacy, no creativity. I’m tired of white walls and not being able to have a pet or a yard to lounge around in. I want something to call my own and I can “screw it up” any way that I want!

We’ve looked at a few the last couple weeks and they’ve been alright but nothing that makes us want to jump on it right away. We have time though. Our lease isn’t up until the end of October so if all goes according to plan we can figure something out by that time. Hopefully not too much sooner because we (being unestablished beings) couldn’t possibly afford a mortgage payment and rent. Right?

I downloaded a few realtor apps including one called Zillow. Whenever there is a new listing, I get a notification. 21st inventions are cool. Am I right? Anyway, check out this link and let me know what you think. When I saw it, I was like “perfect!” It was one of those “this is it” moments. We’ll be looking at it tomorrow and sometimes photos are deceiving but based on the provided information, it’s the closest to what we’re looking for in comparison to others we’ve researched that are in our budget.

Stay tuned..

Sunday Drive.

I did a lot of driving today. I hate driving. I needed to get out of the house. I’ve only worked 5 out of the last 14 days because I needed to use some vacation time since I’m not accruing it anymore. Unfortunately, it was kind of a last minute decision and I didn’t really make any plans to do anything. I thought I’d be content hanging out at home and diving into Netflix full force – which was fine for awhile. I don’t know. Cooped up all day when it’s freezing outside gets me thinking and nothing I thought about was very positive.

2015-01-04 14.07.05I kept thinking about our recent decisions that landed us to where we are. Was it a mistake? Why did we decide to come here? All that pity party jazz. So, I decided to bundle up for the 15 below zero [who knows what the windchill is] weather. I popped in Taylor and just drove. I drove and stopped to take pictures. I took my time. I don’t think I’d ever been passed so many times in my life! I guess that’s my fault – 30 in a 55 probably isn’t legal.

It was a refreshing drive. Although I still don’t know if we made the “right” choice by moving here, I felt better after getting out of the apartment for awhile. My mom told me to enjoy every single minute of every single day as much as possible. I really should take her advice more often. Moms always know best.

Today, I fully enjoyed the two hours I spent singing to Taylor Swift as loud as the radio would go. I enjoyed driving like a tourist in Bemidji admiring the beautiful homes and scenery. I enjoyed pulling over and baring the cold air for a good picture. I enjoyed driving even though I hate it.

I also decided that I’m going to look into a few things over the next year. I love photography. I’m no expert and I don’t even know if I’m any good at it in the terms of being a “photographer.” But I do know that it’s my meditation. It makes me happy and it helps me capture beauty the way I see it. It helps me to tell a story that I have no words for.

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So, I want to spend a little money and send some of my favorites to get printed on a larger scale to see how they look. I’ve only ever printed small scale stuff but it’d be really cool to sell my photos down the line and if they don’t print well now, I need to teach myself how to take photos that will print well.

Second, I’ve wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember but I don’t know what exactly I’d write about. After venturing to a few bookstores in the last few weeks I’ve seen a lot of imagery themed books. I would probably refer to them as table top books. I’m sure some in the literary world wouldn’t consider the title of “author” to be an accurate definition of the books creators but it’d be a great way for me to combine my images with some small passages. I don’t know, just a thought. But my plan would be to gather 50 or 60 photos that I’ve taken and pair them somehow with text. I used to work with a gal that has published a book of her own and I’d probably ask her advice once I gather some material together.

Thanks mom for getting me thinking. You really are the best. I took these pictures today with you in mind.

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The Yearly Cliché.

A couple years ago, I wrote about not making New Years Resolutions but instead making smaller goals each month to try and stay on track. It worked for awhile just like every other variation of a resolution does. But somewhere along the way, it quietly vanished.

This year, I’m going to revert to the more cliché version of a set of resolutions. Some I’ll succeed at and some I won’t. Most of these are very realistic. Some are a stretch but with the proper guidance, I know I can succeed. To make up for a really crappy couple of years (2011-2012) I want to do a little traveling. Of course, I want to travel the world but in order to succeed at fulfilling my New Years Resolutions, I’m going to be a bit more realistic.

  • Create a realistic 5-Year plan. I’m 25. I’m not married, have no children, nor do I own a house. I want to do all of those things in the next 5 years. I’d like Channing and I to sit down sometime soon and prioritize our needs and wants both as a couple and on the professional front – to create a plan and stick to it. I also plan on making a personal 5-year plan that will lay out my personal interests and hobbies which may or may not include writing a book, Pinteresting my way into home shows, and traveling to England, Paris, and Ireland.
  • Lose 50 pounds. Since June, I’ve lost about 33 pounds. It’s been a little rocky and I’ve gotten off track since moving to Bemidji but I’m determined to continue my progress. 50 pounds is very realistic if I use the tools I’ve been given. Ideally, I want to push myself to double that number in the year 20-15. I know 100 pounds does seem unrealistic but given how much I actually need to lose in order to become healthy, it’s a blip on the radar screen.
  • Travel around the area. This is a long one..Because I first need to lose a substantial amount of weight before I feel comfortable purchasing ONE seat in airfare (rather than 2); I decided that I’m going to travel via car this year. Traveling further than I can drive will be one of my many rewards after losing more weight. I want to travel to all the border states/countries of Minnesota. I’ve listed a few specific places. Some I’ve been to, some I haven’t: Duluth, Gooseberry Falls, Grand Marais, Grand Rapids, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Superior, Brainerd, Red Wing, Wisconsin Dells, and Sioux Falls just to name a few. I’d also like to go somewhere in ND other than Fargo or Grand Forks, stop at a few other places in SD, and venture to Iowa. Where in Iowa? I have no idea. Included in the Minnesotan borders is Canada. I don’t know where specifically but I’ll head that way too! I’d also like to visit as many waterfalls, caves, and state parks as possible. I want to be on the water, sail, and visit lighthouses. I love to explore.
  • Don’t Pass Up Good Events. This is something I’ve done a lot. Sadly, I’ve had a handful of oppertunities over the last few years to go and do something but I either used a bad day, Channing’s mood, or money as an excuse not to do something or go somewhere. A few things on my bucket list this year given that they are within driving distance and things aren’t sold out would include: Seeing Taylor Swift in either Fargo or St. Paul, Bo Burhnham if he ever gets his ass to tour around here, and a Vikings football and Twins baseball game. I don’t really like either of those sports to any kind of extreme but I think a professional sports team would be interesting to see live and because my boyfriend likes sports, we both win. I should also probably make a point of going to the MN State Fair this year too since I’ve never been.
  • Buy A Passport. I believe I need one these days in order to even go to Canada so it’s a must-get for this year. If I’m not mistaken, they are good for 10 years too so that should get me set for my European venture in a couple years.

There you go! I have quite a few more resolutions which primarily fall in the first resolution so I won’t bore you with them quite yet. I’d love to hear about your New Years Resolutions! The realistic ones and the far-fetched ideas. What are you going to do to make this year one to remember? Also, if you have any fun or must-see places that you’ve been to in the region, let me know. Word of mouth experiences are the best places to visit.

Cheers to 20-15!!

Why Bemidji?

So, it’s been awhile since I’ve regularly blogged.  A lot has happened. A lot of “unexpecteds” I suppose you’d say. We’re moving to Bemidji, MN.

SAY WHAT!?

I know, I know. Quite the change huh? Grand Forks has it all. A growing young city, a great college reputation, stores galore. It has a pretty decent mall, great eating establishments, excellent coverage of local happenings, you name it. I’m a perfect fit for this town right? An eager, 24 year old? Sure, on paper.

I’ve had more people than I can count say “Why Bemidji?” since they’ve heard the news of our moving. And it’s not the typical “Good for you! What made you choose Bemidji” chatter. It’s more like: “Really, Bemidji? What’s there?” Ugh. I’m sick of it.

I’ve had more people look at me like I’m a moron than take it as it is and accept that maybe I don’t care for the legendary night life in GFunk. I like shopping, sure. But I don’t go regularly enough to where I need it to be the staple of the city I live in. And have you seen the water attraction of the city? The river that splits East from Grand? It’s a milky, polluted brown. I wouldn’t let my imaginary dog go in there.

So, with that being said. I’m moving to Bemidji because I want to. I want to live in a smaller (not so busy) city. I want to live where “lake life” is a day to day lifestyle not just a weekend getaway in the summer. I want to live where the tourists flock (because I am a tourist). I want to live in Minnesota again. I want the home-town feel instead of the Canadian invasion whenever I go uptown. I want to find my “home” and I can’t do that in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

I hope that’s good enough reason for those of you who don’t get it.

And who knows, maybe Bemidji won’t be my final resting place. Maybe I’ll want something more. Maybe I’ll regret it. Maybe I’ll miss GF. Maybe I’ll want to run away to New York or duck down in the woods where no one can reach me. Maybe I’ll want to live where Judy Garland grew up or where I can see Lake Superior out of my window.

I have time to figure it out. Some people don’t get it and some people do. I’ve just learned from this dramatic change to be more accepting of peoples choices regardless of what I think. We all have a reason for the things we do and even if we haven’t verbalized why to you; it’s in your best interest to respect each my decision even if you don’t get it.

Ciao.

IMG_7036This weekend was full of fun. I will try to spare you on all the rambling on details but it was nice to do something out of the norm. Not that my weekends have been “normal” or anything. I am pretty aware of the fact that I live a “dull life” in comparison to many of the people that I interact with on a daily basis. I’ve actually been busier than I’m used to over the last few weeks though. But if you’ve been keeping up with my blog or twitter feed, you already knew that.

We had a nice yet unexpected dinner with my aunt on Friday evening. And we also went to visit my SO’s niece and nephew which was a blast because they are both at such fun ages. I remember growing up and my Uncle Troy seemed to be always present in my younger childhood days. Moments with him were some of my favorite growing up.

We haven’t always had the opportunity to connect with our niece and nephew as often as we’d like to have in the past but are making a great effort to do so as much as we can presently. It’s a good feeling.

Bw-obAeCcAErsTdSaturday was full of JC, shopping, a baby shower for Channing’s sister and some good ol’ quality visiting time with my mom. When days are jam packed with thing after thing after thing, it seems that there are never enough seconds in the day. I loved every bit of the weekend but I wish that I could have spent more time doing each thing because it seems like an hour only last 20 minutes these days.

Oh, and my mom, brother, and I went to get our hair done at my aunts salon in Halstad. (This is a different aunt from my Friday venture.) I wish I had a picture of my moms new do as well because she looks great!

Does time go faster than it should? I began to notice that each day seemed to go a little faster when I was in 4th grade. I don’t know what the particular event was but I know that I was at school and I all of a sudden felt like the day zoomed by. Around that time, I must have become more concussions of the measure of time.

As I’m proofreading this post, it’s kind of silly I guess. To lay out what I did on my weekend. It’s actually kind of boring. I just felt like writing and really don’t have anything specific to write about.

Actually, I do have a couple things to write about but I’m working through how to construct the posts. I have some blurbs of thoughts down but nowhere to go with them. We’ll see what happens. Ciao.

Warroad Warriors.

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 10.31.20 PMIf you’d like to read about this ridiculous coalition that is threatening not only the Warroad Warriors but other pride rich communities in the United States, click here. I wish rich white people (the ones threatening the lawsuit) would stop acting like they are helping the American Indian population and let them stand up for themselves. If they have an issue with a mascot in a city of less than 2,000 people they can speak up for themselves which in this case they have and they are in full support of the Warriors symbolism not only on the school mascot front but as an entire community.