It's spring in Minnesota. This means that tomorrow it might go back down to forty degrees. But this morning it rained in a way that was much more surrender than frontal attack and the wind gave up its bite. This was my first winter in Minnesota. It was bitter cold, and six months without seeing the grass. Winter in Minnesota comes on fast and unapologetic and very unlike the people here. However, spring in Minnesota makes more sense. It comes slowly and tries not to be recognized.
I've learned a lot about people from being up here. It seems counterintuitive because most people will only tell you they're fine. Before I came here I thought everything would be the same as back home. But here people are deeply loyal both to their state and to each other. They care and somehow see connections between each other everywhere. This is an odd state. They use words that shouldn't actually exist and will defend those words forever (even though they are most definitely wrong). People say hello to strangers walking down the street. It is not a stretch to say that I really don't fit in here.
This is not my home state and I will probably only be here for these four years. I didn't grow up with the State Fair and I haven't swum in any of the ten thousand lakes. I would probably be written out of my parents' will if I ever adopt a Minnesotan accent, but I do like it here, more than I imagined. I don't think I will ever get used to the constant, often times excessive niceness, and passive aggressiveness will always frustrate me to no end. But the people I've met here are genuinely kind, devoted and passionate people that I am lucky I get to call my friends.
I guess I would say I am much more of a Minnesotan winter than I would care to admit. I am still learning how to apologize correctly and overstay my welcome far too often. But I am surrounded by my first Minnesota spring. The grass has come back and the flowers are starting creep out of the dirt once again. Surrounded by all this warmth and sincerity, it's impossible not to start to thaw at least a little and for that I am incredibly grateful.