Have you heard that phrase before? Minnesota Nice. When we first moved here, we looked at it, puzzled. It was printed onto posters, t-shirts, murals. It was literally all over the place; Bryan and I had no idea what it meant. Now that we’ve lived here for a little while, I’m understanding the meaning and finding it to be SO TRUE!
Making friends in a new city is difficult to begin with, but it is even harder when the state you moved to has a phrase to describe their strange relational habits. At this point, I had anticipated having at least one new friend; as you can imagine, I’m not there quite yet. Someone born and raised in Minnesota joked with me, “Minnesota nice is so intense; your friends will be the people like you… who’ve moved here from somewhere else!”
A characteristic of ‘Minnesota nice’ is surface-level friendliness; as a newbie to the state, this makes it easy to meet people, but harder to create friendships. As an eager friend-maker, this is so foreign. In previous stages of life, I have made friends through school and work. Bryan and I are showing up, but struggling to see results. I have never had a problem making friends; it just hasn’t been my personality. But here, I have a hard time putting myself out there because of this obstacle.
Don’t hear this and think I am talking shit about Minnesota-natives. More than anything, it is humbling; I thought making friends would be no sweat… but here I am, struggling a bit. Leaping out of my comfort zone has been challenging but I’m still beyond grateful to be living here, it is worth the difficulty. It is all a part of the process of settling into a new home.
Navigating a new state has been such an incredible journey. I’m learning to love each step. Though I may never fully understand Minnesota Nice, I know this state is my home for now, and I adore this city.