Leaving Minnesota

Well, it’s about time I hit the old dusty trail.

After 5 1/2 years of utter bliss working at MB Technology in Chanhassen, Minnesota, the time has come to move on to the next chapter of my life. On Monday, I put in my official two-weeks notice, and will be serving my last day as Marketing Assistant on Friday, June 24. Not only will I be saying goodbye to the only full-time job I’ve ever known, but I will be saying goodbye to my second state of residency, Minnesota.

That’s right. I’m becoming a Longhorn. Or maybe a Lone Star. Well, whatever it is, it is sure to be BIGGER, as they say in Texas. And Lauren will be soon to join.

Seeking an adventure and becoming angrily sick of massive snowfall and winter in general, Lauren and I decided a while ago that we’d look into moving somewhere new for a while. Hopefully somewhere with a milder climate but strong job market, low cost of living, and high level of entertainment options. Lauren pleaded for months to move back to Toronto (yes, Toronto is actually further south than Minneapolis… look on a map!), but I refused to leave the country. Instead, we each made a list of American cities we’d consider for relocation, and if any matched, we’d pursue them. Three cities were eventually under strong consideration—Cincinnati, Portland, and Austin. Cincinnati was cut from the list after some research because it still gets 50+ inches of snow per winter, and so it was between Portland and Austin—wherever either of us was able to find employment.

I applied for many jobs and received word back on quite a few in Texas, so I flew down there in mid-May for a series of interviews. I really tried to focus on companies in sports, entertainment, or geography. In the end, I had multiple offers on the table and actually opted for the least secure position, a contract-to-hire job with Callaway Golf because I liked the company and atmosphere there the best. My official title will be Interactive Merchandising Analyst. I’m sure I’ll soon find out what all goes into the role, but it will surely be different from MB. Not as much graphic design, and no print design at all. It’s all web, and lots of analysis. That’s okay with me; my creative juices need a few years to sit and replenish after executing every idea that ever popped into my head in 1,335 days on the job here. One of the best perks is being able to wear shorts and sandals to work every day! Even with MB’s casual jeans/t-shirt dress code I couldn’t do that.

Breaking the news to management at MB was easier than expected. I figured they’d probably be happy for me; I couldn’t be expected to stick around here forever. It was, after all, my first job directly out of college… eight days after graduation, to be exact. And it turned out they indeed were happy for me, but sad to lose me at the same time. Everyone shook my hand and congratulated me on 5.5 years of dedication to the company, even if the first couple years were a little rough. MB’s president told me I’m the only person he’s ever known who has actually changed, referencing my first two chaotic years on the job to my last 3.5 solid, productive years. My last few days of work here will be spent wrapping up the few projects left on the table, and preparing everything for Aaron, or whoever he may eventually hire to be the new Marketing Assistant.

Leaving our apartment will be tough… literally. Hauling couches and beds up and down those narrow stairways was very difficult when we moved in in February ’09. I won’t be too broken up about leaving the apartment itself though; we never anticipated we’d be there for 28 months like we have been, though it has served us quite well. The Uptown area was a great place to live and I will hopefully be able to find a comparable neighborhood in Austin with bars and restaurants and bus lines in short walking distance.

Leaving behind the many good friends here will of course be difficult, but I fully expect I’ll see them all again several times per year, whether we’re back in Minneapolis visiting or they’re in Austin. Walsh and I will talk about continuing the Shed Party Show remotely; we’ll still be in the same time zone, after all. It’s not out of the question. But I will miss the weekday lunches with Liz, the drinking binges with the LaPlants, attempting to match up Travis, couples outings with Walsh and Sarah, helping Luke with his businesses, cultural outings with Patrick, and sports tirades with Nick. And so on with all the other many good friends here, far too many to mention.

The Poulters and Rosoks will be missed, of course. And the Glanzers will no longer be a 5-hour car ride away when I need my car fixed or just want to go back to visit. But Mom seemed downright ecstatic to learn of our plans so she and Dad can come and visit in the winter, which she hates even more than we do. Jordan was also very encouraging of our move, saying she would do the same if she were given the opportunity.

We won’t be completely alone in Texas, however. Lauren’s aunt and uncle and cousins live in Georgetown, a short drive north. A former co-worker and friend from MB lives and works in San Antonio. My great aunt and uncle live in Houston. Lauren has a college friend in Dallas. And I met a few new contacts when I was in Austin in May which I’ve kept in touch with.

Of course the downfall to the exciting plan is Lauren will not be joining me right away. Since my job isn’t full-time at first, I want to work a couple weeks there and get a better feel of whether or not it’s going to work out before Lauren quits her job and moves on down. She is searching for jobs as well, but it will be more difficult for her as she really hopes to land something in the grocery biz. So at least temporarily, I’ll be going solo in Austin. Lauren will keep our apartment through the end of July, and sometime in July I’ll fly into town and we’ll make the big move with all our stuff. The longest we’ve ever been apart since we met was a week in 2009 when I went to a trade show for work; 3-4 weeks will be very sad!

All of this is pending the results of my background check and drug test, but I really doubt I have anything to worry about. But, should I somehow fail, disregard this whole blog post.

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