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One month in...

The title of this one makes my time in South Dakota sound like a prison sentence but I promise it's been the complete opposite of that. Sometimes titles just need to have some irony. Every part of me is enjoying almost every part of Sioux Falls - the people are incredibly nice, I'm starting to find things to do, and exploring this new-to-me city has been adventure after adventure thus far.

I've tried to write this post a million times over the past two weeks but I kept getting stuck, unsure of what direction I wanted it to take. That's also how a majority of my past six months have felt, like I was stuck and unsure of what direction I wanted my life to take. But as my days in South Dakota continue, that feeling has started to pass. I'm not questioning my life's direction anymore. I'm not stressing over my decisions. Instead, as cliche as this sounds, I'm realizing that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be for now.

I also realized what direction I want this post to take so here it goes...

Things I've learned during my first month on my own in Sioux Falls:

  • Flight delays-turned-cancellations on 'Moving from NY to SD Day' are not ideal but they become a little better when the bartender in the Minneapolis airport offers free drinks during your extended layover.

  • Furniture stores are very overwhelming when you have a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment to furnish by yourself. Not surprisingly, it also gets very expensive very quickly. Also not so surprisingly, the second bedroom is still unfurnished so it seems my time in furniture stores isn't quite finished yet.

  • Falls Park isn't Niagara Falls but it has potential to be a writing spot for my eventual second novel. But unlike my debut novel, I'm not putting a deadline on myself for this one yet.

  • Staying at an AirBnB downtown for ten days was an experience. There's a very good chance that it was haunted and the neighborhood was iffy but it was a perfect solution to unexpected apartment delays - well, minus the constant middle-of-the-night whistle from a freight train. That train made me very happy that I chose an apartment complex on the outskirts of the city instead of downtown. If you're moving to a new city, I'd recommend staying in different areas before making your living decision. I didn't do that but thankfully I blindly made the right choice.

  • Being a thousand miles away from home when one of your parents is going through a lot of medical issues is really tough both emotionally and mentally. I've never been so grateful for FaceTime, phone calls, and supportive coworkers who understood when I needed to step away from my desk to answer update calls.

  • Choosing a third-floor corner unit apartment comes with really nice views and I'm really happy with my choice now that I'm getting settled but walking up 36 steps each time you need to bring 3600 bags of clothes all by yourself gets really tiring really quickly.

  • A bottle of rosé was the first and only thing in my refrigerator for two or three days and I have absolutely zero regrets about that. There have been plenty of nights where I had rosé or ice cream for dinner - not together but maybe I'll try that next. I also have zero regrets about that.

  • Shower curtains/liners take a tedious amount of time to put on and dishwashers take an obnoxious amount of time to run a single load.

  • Measure every part of your apartment before buying a couch because chances are the couch you choose will be too long to fit through an oddly-angled entryway and the delivery guys will end up scratching up the entire corner-piece of the wall in your brand new, newly-built apartment and you'll call your mom hysterically crying because it'll push you over the edge and it feels like the end of the world and she'll tell you that it'll be fine/that you're maybe overreacting and that'll make you cry more and then you'll realize you need to pick out another couch and wait another five days for it to be delivered so you'll have to sit on the floor or your bed until it gets there.

  • Shopping carts at Target and Walmart are never big enough when furnishing an apartment.

  • Bedding is annoyingly expensive. Actually, most things are annoyingly expensive.

  • Building a TV stand is unexpectedly hard but Target gives much better instructions than Ikea.

  • A derecho is a "widespread, long-lived, straight-line wind storm associated with a fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms" and "can cause hurricanic or tornadic-force winds, actual tornadoes, heavy rains and flash flood." They're also super rare, super scary, and I experienced my first one within the first few days of living in my apartment.

  • Speaking of weather, there have been way too many tornado watches/warnings for my liking. I read something today from the National Weather Service that said there were 3 warnings in Sioux Falls in May 2020 and 12 in May 2021. Guess how many there were in May 2022 aka my first month in South Dakota? ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY SEVEN. Send help, asap.

  • My mom coming to visit for five days was the best time, even if it included delayed flights, a fall, a trip to Urgent Care, and a fractured arm. We didn't let a few hiccups stop us. We shopped, laughed, I cried a little, and watched a lot of TV. She told me so many times that she understood why I fell in love with the city and, although I've had a few bouts of homesickness, her approval of my new home meant so much more than I thought it would.

  • Being able to roadtrip to see family in Kansas who I used to only be able to see a couple times of year was an incredible change. The drive was long and a bit boring (there's NOTHING in Iowa) but I have a feeling it's one I'll be doing a lot now that I'm living in the Midwest!

Well, that list got longer than I expected. It doesn't feel like I've already been in South Dakota for a month but if the next few months continue like the first one did, I have a feeling it'll be a really fun adventure! And, if you made it this far, thank you for coming along with me!

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Megan, One suggestion from a super shopper, Home Goods. Glad to hear you are settling in. Wishing you the best and anticipating your next post. XOXO Debbie Matthews

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