Why I'm Moving to Arizona

After a soul-searching southwestern weekend getaway to visit my friend Brookklyn, I left Phoenix Arizona early February with a gut feeling. Maybe you’ve had it? The one where you’re suppose to do something or be somewhere else. 

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My life in Minneapolis, had been a well-oiled machine before 2017 hit me with all the blunt force and kinetic energy of a train crash. Shattered from the wreckage of another ending relationship, and my mother’s suicide, I moved out of my perfect uptown brownstone apartment that had become a constant sore reminder of both and tried to glue back the broken remnants of what remained into a version of myself I recognized.

My daily commute in the city I’d fallen in love with just the summer prior, by winter, had iced over to become a bone-chilling minefield of overwhelming memories. Of her… Of him…After the busyness of the holidays, funeral arrangements, and wedding season I craved a moment to breathe--a moment of calm; the idea of slowing down in Arizona for six months this winter seemed intoxicating. 

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When I got home after that introspective weekend, I felt as if I had a coping mechanism for all my problems—and it's name was Arizona. I was calmer there. It was familiar, with its open landscape and friendly, Patagonia-clad crowds. What I was looking for at the time, wasn’t an address, but a sense of home and Arizona opened her sunny doors to welcome me. 

The few creative friends who had made the leap into “bicoastal living”, escaping the Minneapolis winters for cities closer to the equator, all seemed healthier, happier, and tanner from the experience. As a freelance writer and self-employed photographer work would be an easy shift. And with the opportunity to take my business anywhere, and with a few connections already established, the six-month transition suddenly became sensical. 

In the wake of my mother's death, I consciously decided my life didn’t have to be over just because hers was. I could grieve, I could move on from the heartbreak and the loneliness, I could relocate and make new friends, try new things and create new memories. Identifying as an insatiable ‘wanderluster’, I’d always been a person who loved travel, adventure, and new experiences but her addiction became my excuse throughout the years to plant roots when I should have been out collecting passport stamps.

Her death gave me permission. Permission to live…to take chances…and to really pursue my life in a way I hadn’t.

Currently, I’m still sorting through all the details like Phoenix versus Scottsdale, or roommates versus my own space, but I’m moving forward with an intuition and peace that the pieces will all fall into place. Arizona will presumably make me healthier and tanner but happier? Only time can tell. But I’m excited to create new routines involving canyon hikes, desert photo shoots, and farmers market hauls. 

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As far as what this means for my photography business, if you’re in Minneapolis—DON’T FREAK OUT! I’ll still be flying back frequently for work as I make the transition to expand and serve both markets. I’m so excited for this upcoming season of life (the climate change is a major plus++) and to finally be able to share this news with all of you. I hope to see you in my little southwestern paradise this winter, and YES, that’s 100% an invitation to come and visit!