Where I Come From

As a small town country girl, turned big city party girl, turned back to small town girl, I can say I have had my  fare share of “big city” folk questioning -why Fargo-Moorhead? When I lived in Minneapolis, it wasn’t very often when asked where I was from that I would actually say Barnesville, as many people would just get it confused with Burnsville…so annoying. So instead, I would just say I’m from the FM area. It really wasn’t until I moved back up here that I get the looks, which I like to call the “unfortunate face.” You know, when people look at you like they feel bad for you…well, I say don’t feel bad for me, I like this place. It is not only where my friends and family are, but it is a great place to live, work, go to school, raise a family, and so on. The nightlife isn’t bad either.   And about the weather…so what if it gets a little chilly in the winter…it’s the north, what do you really expect?

So instead of constantly defending this majestic city in the valley, I’ve decided to put it out there, give my top 10 reasons to live in the FM area. It is home to over 200,000 people with major universities and businesses. This city is much more vibrant, exciting and full of opportunities than many people think.  And by city, I mean city. Yes, we are very civilized up here. We even have electricity!  So for some of my uninformed readers out there (and you know who you are), here you go…this is why I choose to live here, among the other many personal reasons I have which include 3 very darling little girls and the rest of my family and friends that begged for me to move back.

  1. Culture and Leisure (this includes shopping, eating out, bars, etc.)
  2. Careers (voted # 7 in Forbes Best Small Places For Business And Careers and #24 in CNN’s best place to live and launch in 2008)
  3. One of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation: just around 3%
  4. Low cost of living
  5. Short commute (mine is approx. 4 minutes )
  6. Equal male to female ratio (this one’s for all my single ladies)
  7. Young population (around %16 of the population is age 25-34)
  8. Good schools (K-12 and Higher Ed.)
  9. Flat, fertile land-which means successful farming (this one’s for my Dad and for the great upbringing I had because of great crops).
  10. Low crime rates (cheers to leaving my car unlocked and running while I run in to get coffee in the winter!)

Well, these are the top 10 that I came up with. Living in Minneapolis gave me the opportunity to reflect the area that I came from, and really understand how fortunate I am to now have a job, a great apartment that doesn’t cost my entire paycheck, a great school where I just completed my M.S., opportunity for my career, and of course great friends and family close by. Living in a big city is fun, but so is traveling to big cities. The Mall of America wouldn’t be so grand if I went all the time…

So although Fargo-Moorhead may not be the most appealing place for someone my age, I think if you have an open mind and surround yourself with great people, Fargo-Moorhead can be a great place to live, work and play.

Posted in November by Alissa Maier. Comments Off on Where I Come From

Back to Reality

Short lived but fabulous, I took a vacation last week to the Dominican Republic. My best friend from high school got married and I went with several friends to celebrate. The anticipation of a vacation is so great, and the reality of being home is such a slap in the face. I think back to only one week ago as we were preparing to depart and feel like the week flew by too fast and almost wonder if it even happened. I am now immersed back into the reality that is life and work and am trying to adjust. Slowly…but surely I am already almost back into the groove of my everyday routine.

Vacationing is so amazing and such a treat. I have been blessed to be able to go on vacation for the last two years attending weddings for both. I can’t help but wonder if now that both weddings have passed, if my vacationing days are over for a while. I almost had no choice but to go to both of these weddings/vacations and now if I go on another trip, it is fully my choice and a very pricey decision. At such a young age I want to be able to travel and see the world, but with a pretty low income and school loans, is it even possible? Deciding where my money can and should go is very difficult when I have desirable options like vacationing. These are the tough decisions I face now, and am finding out I will have to face the rest of my life. To go on fabulous vacations will take a lot of saving and sacrificing. So…let the sacrificing begin, and maybe 2013 will be a year for Europe.

Posted in November by Alissa Maier. Comments Off on Back to Reality

New Year…Same Routine

I haven’t written since I published the blog a month ago, but we all understand the whirlwind that is the Holidays. So now that the Holidays are officially over, it is time to get back to the daily grind. Even though it is a new year, I find myself in the same exact routine as I was a year ago. I always reflect on my routine as I lay down to go to sleep. I set my alarm, turn off my lamp and television and turn to the position of comfort. Then I think wow…I literally do the same exact thing nightly. This is routine, and although nightly rituals have no need to be tampered with, what about my routine on a day to day basis, and the fact that it hasn’t changed in over 12 months? I think it seems a little bit ridiculous, especially since my life has never been the same for a straight 12 months since I graduated high school almost 6 years ago. In college every year, every semester, heck…almost every day is different. And now all of the sudden, even though I dreamed of an 8-5 no weekend job, I find myself struggling to appreciate it. It seems that I wanted this so bad, and now that I have it and that I have a routine that I can count on, I would rather be doing something different. But on the flip side, if I didn’t have it, would I long for it if I worked night shifts, or earlier morning shifts or weekend shifts? Probably. I will likely find out what suits me best as I really transition into a career that I want and will find out just what I like best. It’s just one of those things in life…I might not appreciate what I have fully now, but if it was gone…I would miss it dearly.



Posted in November by Alissa Maier. Comments Off on New Year…Same Routine

Here we go!

So, here I am. A new blogger to Areavoices, and excited to be a part of this community.

My blog Road2Reality is my journey (past, present and future) into the “real world”. I am a recent (1 year ago) college graduate working a full-time job and pursuing a M.S. I transitioned into my current role in what I call “adulthood” rather quickly, and learned a lot of things I wish I had been prepared for as I went. The personal struggles were stressful and created a lot of frustration for a while. But now, as I transition once again I am finding that having an outlet to share my journey is helpful for myself, and maybe for others. The one thing I kept telling myself throughout this transition was “I’m not alone”. I’m not alone, and nobody is alone. Everyone has to deal with adjusting to a new chapter in life, and I am looking forward to creating a blog about my road to reality.

Posted in November by Alissa Maier. Comments Off on Here we go!