I spent the first five years of my life in Stillwater, Minnesota. Stillwater is a beautiful town right on the St. Croix River, and close enough to the Twin Cities that my mom and I could go shopping just about any time we pleased. We would go up to visit my grandparents quite often though, in a small town of 3,000. The town is close to Itasca State Park, which is where the Headwaters of the Mississippi is located. Just after I started kindergarten, my parents, my new baby brother, and I moved to this sleepy little town.
Being a young child, I loved going over to my grandparents' house - I still do. But it was in that little house on a lake where I developed a fondness for certain things that I still love today. My grandmother is very much into crafts, and would let me paint ceramic figurines, taught me how to sew, crochet, etc. It was also thanks to my grandmother that I found I rather enjoyed drinking tea. Between crafts, we would stop and have tea time. I would run over and grab my cup, which had a little chip in it, and a rose on the side that reminded me of Beauty and the Beast, and we would usually have an English Breakfast Tea. Every time I drink that tea now, I still think of those days when I'd spend the afternoon with Grandma.
As I grew older, living in a sleepy little town wasn't as much fun as back then, though. I wanted to get out, see the world, live in the cities. During my college years, I was fortunate enough to do just that. I went to St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota - a little closer to home than I wanted, but I didn't know anyone - where I studied political science and computer science. The Spring semester of my Junior year took me to the cities - in a couple different countries. I left Minneapolis in January on my way to Budapest, Hungary, where I would live with a friend of mine for a month before travelling to Oslo, Norway, where I would live the entire spring, attending the University of Oslo. It was wonderful to be out and about, seeing different countries, etc. I was even able to see parts of Paris, Romania, and Denmark while I was in Europe, as well as London, England, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Riga, Latvia from my plane window.
After graduation, however, I ended up moving back to my sleepy little town, not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life. Luckily, I didn't have to move back in with my parents. I love them dearly, but after four years of taking care of myself and living on my own, it was just difficult to be there. My parents own a motel, and as of the moment, I am living there, in a nice Jacuzzi suite - I even have access to my own sauna!
It's not quite the life I had envisioned for myself, but as for right now, it's the best thing I can imagine. Money hasn't been much of a problem, with just my cat, Atari, and I to really worry about, I've been able to keep busy with work and a couple Bible studies. Life's been a lot easier since I decided not to stress out about it!