The 13th Month

Six months ago, after this year-long adventure officially ended, I packed up my car and moved to Minneapolis. This space has been pretty quiet since then — okay, completely quiet — but my life has been anything but. 

The past six months have carried all of the busyness, excitement, and vulnerability of landing in a new city and trying to find my legs there. Have you ever done this? It’s really kind of crazy, moving to a place where you don’t know many people. Starting from scratch, and figuring out how to re-connect, re-root, and re-establish your life. Watching your own identity move into a completely foreign space…and discovering yourself to be much the same person you’ve always been, and yet somehow totally new.

I suppose I’ve had a good deal of practice with this; having just lived in 12 different places. But it’s different, moving somewhere for real.

And also…I didn’t really know what to write. I had ended this project and I was moving forward, in some pretty clear and decisive ways — a 500-mile relocation, to a new city under a new curve of sky, with a hopeful career shift in mind. Yet the project didn’t feel finished. The year didn’t feel over. When I landed in Minneapolis I was welcomed into the spare bedroom of some generous friends, suitcases still in hand; all my furniture and dishes and plastic bins of stuff were still stacked in a storage unit in Missouri. I didn’t know then where I would live, or what work would look like. I had a few friends in town, but knew virtually nothing of the city. Only that it felt right. After a year of crisscrossing the globe, it felt like where I was supposed to be. 

I have begun to think of this stretch of time after finishing the 12 Places as my “13th month.” It’s been an in-between kind of season; no longer “there” but not yet “here.” No longer wearing travel like a name, but not yet at home. No longer living in Kansas City, but not quite able to call Minneapolis mine. 

Slowly — so much more slowly than I ever imagined — the 13th month has turned a corner, into something that finally feels like a beginning. 

Over the last half a year...

I’ve started exploring this new city, and now I can even (occasionally) find my way to places without using Google maps. Okay, rarely…but sometimes! Small victories.

I moved into a duplex owned by — and shared with — some old friends from my Madison days, in a fascinatingly diverse and wonderfully central neighborhood that I love. (Come visit!)

I'd thought I was looking for a job, but instead have found myself working on a constellation of fun and interesting projects with a wide range of companies and organizations — and for now, at least, that arrangement feels surprisingly perfect. I’ve been able to continue Luminary Brand Lab, while also freelancing as a strategist and working in tandem with other creative teams. 

I’ve had at least a hundred conversations about life and work, design and strategy, storytelling and creative confidence; and about how to make the most of these gifts in the world.

I have met a whole lot of inspiring humans. 

And, those connections are sparking both new and yet-to-be-discovered things.

One of them is this: a few of my favorite inspiring people are part of the design thinking team at Stoke.d, and they recently filmed a fun little 6-minute video story on me and my 12 Places adventure. You can find it on Reframe, a super cool media project they’ve just launched that is all about sharing stories, adventures and conversations about the pursuit of a life well-lived (my kind of project). :) 

Check out the video story here.

Oh! And I’ll also be writing for Reframe on a somewhat regular basis (really excited about this!). You can subscribe on the Reframe site if you want to follow along and get all their best content delivered to your inbox. My first article, a reflection on 12 Places and the “what’s next” question, is here.

Here's to the great unknown that is always up ahead. Let the adventures continue...

~ Erin