Living in a Place I Dont Like

Updated on July 10, 2011
L.A. asks from Arvada, CO
26 answers

What do you do when you despise the place you live? We moved to MN 5 years ago, for my husbands job. I HATE it here. I know that sounds horrible, but I am seriously miserable.
First, I have to say I am thankful for what I have. I feel very fortunate to have a house, a great husband, wonderful kids etc. I just dont know how to change my attitude. We have had problems in our neighborhood, but nothing major. Just the gossipy high schoolish stuff. I try to stay out of it. I dont like the weather here at all. I feel trapped inside all the time. I used to be outside all the time (I grew up in CA, then moved on to CO) I have gained a ton of weight since moving here--mainly because I am bored. I have tried joining different mom groups, but feel like they are very clicky (most of the people here have grown up together or are family--I swear nobody ever moves from this state). I was part of a MOPS group, which I loved, but can no longer be a part of it because of my childrens age. I joined a bible study--nice group of ladies. I work part time, to keep my sanity. I belong to a gym and try to go daily--that does help a little. We recently had problems with my son being bullied, and the school is doing nothing about it. We would love to move, but bought at the high of the market and now have lost a ton of money. My husband is doing great in his job too. I cant work because his job is so demanding. I do have a couple of very good friends, so that is a blessing.
I know this is not the winter blues, because I have felt this way pretty much since we moved here. I have always been a happy person, until now. I think I just feel trapped. I hate feeling like a Debbie Downer. I am almost to a point where I just want to pack up and leave, so I can be happy again.

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answers from Chicago on

I would guess you are among a large group of people now who are unable to move due to the economy. And it sounds like you moved with some misgivings in the first place. I know it's not winter blues, not going to tell you that you should be tough or make different friends, etc. but will add that I really do not like where I live either. Oh my goodness I look up and can practically wave to people in airplanes! We are stuck and going nowhere too quickly but I try to find some little thing that helps me through my day to make feel happy and alive. The cold weather seems to have gone on way too long and I am feeling fat and unattractive a lot of times, too. whatever you love. I take a bath and ahhh....for a few minutes life is okay. Find things to get you through...good books, lots of hoochey coochy and realize life is a lot of ups and downs and really life does change.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Of course you are feeling down today - it's been snowing here for like 36 hours straight! It is February in what (according to Sven on Channel 11 last night) is unofficially "the worst winter ever".

Make a list of your pro's - I see lots in your question... great husband, good house, good bible study group, work part time, gym membership (and time to go daily), good friends.

Can you contact your former MOPS friends? Their kids must still be the same age as yours.. you probably still have lots in common. Find them on Facebook or in your address book and see if you can schedule a playdate. Make a plan to go to the MN Zoo, or the Children's Museum so your kids can play and you can visit.

Do you like winter sports? Maybe you could try cross country skiing? There are lots of places to try it out (Como park rents skis by the hour), then you could get outside in the snow and try to enjoy it. Snowshoeing is fun too - if your kids are older they might like it too.

In January I made some "dates" with my girl friends and put them on the calendar so I had some things to look forward to. Two dinners, an afternoon at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and offered to host a baby shower for a former co-worker of mine. They really made Jan. (and Feb. so far) go much faster. I also am planning to help out more at my oldest son's school (he has a few events coming up they need volunteers for).

Spring is on it's way. Things will get better when MN summer comes. You know summers are the best here.

I know, we Minnesotans can be closed and hard to get to know - I grew up in Northern MN and have had a harder time making friends in the cities since I started staying home with my kids 6 years ago. But, life is what you make of it. :)

Good luck!

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answers from Minneapolis on

You say it's not the winter, but us lifelong Minnesotans are even having trouble with this winter. I live in an apt with my car parked on the last-street-to-be-plowed in the entire city!! Yes, we Minnesotans can be hard to get to know, and if your "I hate it here" thoughts are showing through even a little, that's not going to make it easier.

I'm on the side of life is what we make it. (Read "Stumbling on Happiness" by Daniel Gilbert for the science, and funny stories, about how we do NOT know what will make us happy.)

You say you can't work because of your husband's job, but you have time to go to the gym daily, belong to groups, and be bored. I'd look for a job - either paid or volunteer. We all need a purpose to our days (and gym going and such do not equal a purpose). What is important to you? What cause matters? You can turn this into a volunteer activity or a paid job.

And I highly recommend getting your son into a karate class. My 8 year-old daughter and I have been in karate for over three years. It does great things for our ability to speak up, stand up for ourselves, and not be bullied - without ever needing to use a karate move on anyone outside of class.

And, everyone, it's "clique" not "click" :-)

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answers from Minneapolis on

Sorry kiddo. I grew up in Minnesota and moved to CA once. So I know how it feels in both places.

One Minnesota adage that will help keep your sanity. "There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes!"

Staying indoors at home all the time drives people nuts (remember "The Shining?")

If you can't beat the weather, join it. Get yourself to a Goodwill and buy warm stuff. Go to a Minnesota State Park with your kids or yourself and learn how to cross-country ski or ice skate. (You can cheaply rent x-country skis and snowshoes at most state parks!)

If you have to stay here, build up your (and your son's) confidence "being a Minnesotan." Do what Minnesotans do: Play outside, drink some beers, take in a movie, start seeds indoors, see a play, take the train to downtown Minneapolis, or go to the Mall of America. Whatever floats your boat. Go by yourself if you have to.

When I moved to CA, I had a hard time showing off skin and felt like a fish out of water. If you can believe it. But eventually I learned how to "be a Californian" (could never get rid of my MinneSOta accent though).

Only 1 more month until spring!

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answers from Dallas on

It is also possible you may have SAD - season affect disorder- from not getting enough sunlight. You might check with your doctor about that.

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answers from Amarillo on

Yes, I can relate to you deeply. Military wives feel this way many times over almost every time they move to a new location. You have and are the only one that can make you happy. Dig deep down and find out what you like to do besides be outdoors. If you do like being outside, find something to do like cross country snow skiing or ice skating. Are you near by a community college if so take a class and get to know some people that way.

Basically it all about attitude. Just think if you did move back home it would not be the same as people do change from when you lived there.

Take charge of your life and make it what you want. You didn't explain what demands your husband's job put on you to make you unhappy. See how you can change that to make you happy.

Research the area and find something good.

The other S.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

I have been in that situation. We live in Colorado, but before this we were in Orange County, California and I HATED it there! I really believe that having a sense of pride and love for where you live is an important part of living a fullfilled life. If I were you, I'd start preparing to move/relocate. It may take years to get where you want, but at least you'll be working towards that goal.. Life is too short to live where you are not happy. In the meantime, try to have a good attitude and 'make memories' in Minnesota. When I look back on my time in California, I realize I did make some great memories. Try to focus on the things you are thankful for while making those preparations to move. Maybe your husband could transfer w/ his company and/or start looking for other jobs in a location that suits you both. You could always rent out your MN house and then rent in the new location until the market turns around.
Good luck!

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answers from Minneapolis on

I feel for you it must be difficult to live somewhere that doesn't make you happy. I think there are always negative and positive things about anywhere you live. It's just whether you can find things and people who make the positives out weigh the negatives. I've found to have great moms groups that include a lot of other transplants. Look for one that's really active or that shares a common interest of yours. I love living in Minneapolis because of the great arts/culture, family focused activities, seasonal changes etc. Could you maybe pick one new place or event to try a month to get know more of the city? Maybe planing more vacations during the winter? Good luck!

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answers from Seattle on

I know how you feel. Although it is true that your attitude has a lot to do with your happiness level, it is hard to have a good attitude when the weather sucks most of the time. I grew up and lived in sunny places all of my life until I moved to a cloudy, rainy climate and I just don't feel like it is in my makeup to live in such a climate. However, that being said, working hard to make connections with people, no matter how small, really helps a lot. I also do a lot of traveling to sunny locales throughout the year:). I try to keep busy each day and I am learning to enjoy cold weather sports/activities slowly. And the person who said the thing about having the right clothes is right. I don't mind spending money on outdoor weather gear if it makes me able to enjoy the outdoors in the cold more.

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answers from Portland on

Happiness comes from within. Yes, outside circumstances do influence how we feel but whether or not we are truly happy depends on us and how we think. We have control of our thoughts.

I suggest that you do some counseling so that you can learn to think differently and how to be happy within yourself. I also suggest that a short round of an anti-depressant may be a big help in getting you out of your funk. You have nothing to lose by trying it and lots to gain.

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answers from Honolulu on

I feel for you. We had to live some pretty crummy places (we lived on a corner that frequently had "ladies of the night" selling themselves and the other one of the other places has drive by shootings on our street) while hubby was in school. You have friends so that good. See if you can make a hobby into something. I knit.

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answers from Minneapolis on

WOW..... I could have written this post. It is hard when you move to a place and just don't click with what's going on. I've lived in several different states and MN is by far my worst experience.

That being said I decided that the adage "What you put out, you get back" is a true one and I decided that even though I was so unhappy that I would start thinking positively, always putting a smile on my face and always choosing the positive thing to say over the not so positive when talking to a neighbor, someone at the gym, etc.. I also decided that I was going to say yes to any/every invitation - even when I didn't feel like going, didn't know anyone, etc. Both of these things have helped tremendously. Yes, I still wish I was somewhere else, and I don't get how insular everyone is here - but I don't let it get me down anymore. You really need to make a commitment to it and it doesn't happen easily, but you can turn it around.

We also got a SAD light (GE or LG... not sure who makes it) and that helps a ton with the winter blues. Highly recommend it! Good luck!+

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answers from Minneapolis on

Honey, I grew up here, moved away for nearly 20 years, and moved back here three years ago - and I have had tons of moments when I felt like, "why the hell are we here?!?!?! I hate this!!!!"

I do understand the feelings of isolation and disconnectedness - and living with the feeling that once upon a time, in a different place, you didn't feel so out of place. Could it be that, living somewhere else, you would feel more "in your place?" Possibly. Equally possible, though, is the old adage: "Wherever you go, there you are," and that you would face the same challenges any place you lived. Since you say that moving is not an option, your choice is to try to change the things about your life that make you unhappy. I hear you saying that you have tried to get involved in a number of activities and groups, and it sounds like none of them have really sustained you in the way that you need. Other than being outside all the time, what did you used to do that gave you satisfaction and made you feel like "you?" Lean on the couple of very good friends you talk about - tell them how you're feeling. It's freakin' February, 99% of us are feeling the same way!!!! Seriously, February sucks. It's the hardest month. In three weeks, when the snow starts to melt in earnest, and in five weeks, when the crocuses start to appear, things will feel different.

Also, if this has truly been a persistent, ongoing problem (years?) then talk to your doctor. Depression is real, our body and brain chemistry changes a lot after children (even long after they're out of your body.) I wish you all the best - I share your feelings of defeat and loneliness sometimes, and I know how hard it is to feel trapped.

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answers from Modesto on

We are all guilty of saying "when this happens I'll be happy". Seriously that really isnt the case. You need to really change your mind set and be happy where you are. You said you are bored. Dr Phil says "boring people are bored people". If the groups you've joined havent done it for you try something else. Get yourself a sewing machine and teach yourself to sew. It sounds like you just need to do something that makes you feel accomplished. You have the hardest job in town and it sounds like you are good at it. You have a successful husband and you are backing him up by fostering his career as a patient and loving wife. Even tho you dont think it's partly winter blues, my guess is that winter is a bit responsible. We all get a little more down when the sun isnt shining and its so cold you can hardly breathe.
Get some good books to read.... that's always a great escape from the doldrums.
visit some of the churches in your area, it's another great way to meet people that "do things" to keep themselves from boredom.
Hope you feel better soon. Try to look at what you have and be thankful for where you are, the grass in not always greener on the other side Honey.

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answers from Memphis on


I was in a similar situation as you a few months ago. My husband and I got married in July, we moved from my home/family/friends in California to Memphis which ranked #1 in the country for violent crime last year, AND a month after we married, my husband had to go to San Antonio for 5 MONTHS for Air Force training. So there I was, stuck in Memphis, knowing nobody and having NOTHING in common with any of them (California girl in the South = fish out of water) and not even a husband at home to help me adjust to our new lifestyle. October-November was a really low period. You know what I did? I got busy with things I loved. My two saving graces have been yoga and becoming a Stylist for Stella & Dot. The yoga clears my head and gets my "head" energized, the Stella & Dot inspires me, gives me a reason that is all my own to be excited every day, and probably most importantly, has introduced me to so many wonderful women, clients and colleagues alike. Before I started with Stella & Dot, I was always feeling alone and miserable and trapped in a place I hated. I couldn't find a kindred spirit or genuine empathetic person to save my life. I never thought it would happen, but here I am just 4 months later and I'm ACTUALLY starting to warm up to Memphis. I know it's not Memphis itself that I like, it's just the community and the roots I'm making for myself. Either way, I'm not crying anymore :-) Maybe Stella & Dot could open the same doors for you? It's worth a shot. Here's a helpful link: And give that yoga a shot, too. I promise. I wasn't a "yoga person" when I first went. I went in thinking I wouldn't like it. Love it!

Hope something in here helped! Hang in there! It doesn't sound like you're going anywhere, so you might as well find a way to make your own way and someday like it more than you do now. Ooh! I also agree with the suggestion below to check out It's totally fun!

K. H.

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answers from Houston on

I would say go out and get a hobby. Like a book club or craft night or something with a whole fresh new set of faces. Also, don't set your expectations so high for people and moms groups.

We've moved a lot too and it's rough being away from 'home'... have you thought of maybe volunteering? Big Brothers/Big Sisters or at an animal or shelter, children's hospital, women/children's shelter, red cross or something. I find that doing community service often lifts my spirits, as well as those around me.

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answers from Los Angeles on

My husband moved with me to the UK, because I had a great job. He absolutely hated every waking moment of every day. He stuck it out for 6 years, and then simply said. Thats it, we are moving back to Texas, I just shrugged it off for a few months,, until I realized he was serious, he was so unhappy it was making everyone else unhappy.
So 4 years ago we moved back, our marriage is better now - a job is not everything in life, he can get another with less money and you can get a smaller house in a not so expensive area - live more frugally. I came from a 3 bed brand new ocean front brick home, to a 2 bed trailer
you have given it long enough IMO

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answers from Milwaukee on

I hated parts about living in MN too, and I'm from just a state away! Although I did eventually end up moving back to my home state (which was a great decision for us...closer to family, much nicer suburb than where we were), in retrospect there are a TON of great things about the Minneapolis area (I'm assuming that's where you are?). I really miss the great variety of restaurants, the Science Museum and Mill City museum, lots of great arts and theater events. It sounds like you are doing all the right things. I bet if you could find another group of women who are also transplants you'd be in a better place. At least you could commisserate when you're feeling down! Good luck!

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answers from Chicago on

I would guess you are among a large group of people now who are unable to move due to the economy. And it sounds like you moved with some misgivings in the first place. I know it's not winter blues, not going to tell you that you should be tough or make different friends, etc. but will add that I really do not like where I live either. Oh my goodness I look up and can practically wave to people in airplanes! We are stuck and going nowhere too quickly but I try to find some little thing that helps me through my day to make feel happy and alive. The cold weather seems to have gone on way too long and I am feeling fat and unattractive a lot of times, too. whatever you love. I take a bath and ahhh....for a few minutes life is okay. Find things to get you through...good books, lots of hoochey coochy and realize life is a lot of ups and downs and really life does change.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

I feel for you. I grew up in Wiconsin, moved to the LA - Orange County area for 10 years and came back to Wisconsin 15 years ago. I love my friends here and have been able to re-connect with some them. But I miss the California weather and beaches. I have never been much of a snow bunny, once the outside temps get below 20 I just want to hibernate until the snow goes away. You can do the old pro-cons list about living in Minnesota vs California. Cost of living, better schools, lower grocery prices all being a plus for MN. No snow, no high heating bills, spending time with friends and family as pluses for CA. You may find that although you want to move you are better off where you are.
I think you are more lonely than anything else. Have you tried doing volunteer work? If you want to get to know the Moms of the kids your kids go to school with, volunteer at their school. At least being in theTwin Cities you have Art Galleries and awesome Theaters if you are interested in either one offer to volunteer 1-2 days a week. The cool thing about volunteering for something you are interested in, you find others who have your same interests. And volunteer groups are usually short-handed so you will feel welcome.

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answers from New York on

You're not alone. I am on the same boat, actually we are all. we absolutely hate long island. we have never lived in a place like this. but it seems like we're on the minority. long islanders love long island. i have never met one long islander who hates long island. but i have also learned that transplants never fall in love with this place. we also moved due to my husband's job. so i suck it up. i found a good school for my kids, and i do my darnest to create some kind of a social life for ourselves. we still don't like it. winters last 13 months, we're stuck indoors most of the time. our luck is that we kept our florida home, so we take getaways pretty often. we also keep our spirits up by talking about when we move (nothing in sight but keeps the time going). my kids love their school, and they seems somewhat happy. we have lived in a lot of places. for us, this is the bottom of the barrel.
just hang in there. the economy is horrible. imagine if your husband loses his job. do your best to find 2-3 friends who have children so you and the kids can enjoy yourselves a bit. and look forward to moving one day.

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answers from Las Vegas on

I feel for ya too. I grew up in Charleston SC and moved to AZ when I was in the Marines then my parents moved back to their hometown in utah so I moved here when I left my ex and stayed here. Everyone here is clicky too... I made a couple close friends through my first job and a handful through my second job but besides that I go to college most of the day so sometimes I get down like that and sometimes everyone is busy so I get lonely. I swear everyone here grew up together too or there is like a 2 year initiation requirement to be considered worthy of a click. I don't know what it is, but I know how you feel. When I'm feeling really down I'll take my daughter to the park or somewhere fun because seeing her laugh makes me happy :P I'm about to try to join this gym too so I can jog (I have a tear in my knee :( ) and work out, I love it cuz it releases so much of my stress.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I know winters can be a drag. Even though I've lived in MN all my life, I don't care for any type of winter sport so I tend to be a homebody during that season. But once the weather warms up, try doing a little exploring. MN is a beautiful place. Gooseberry Falls, Minnehaha Falls, go for a paddleboat ride at Taylors Falls (lots of "falls" but that is the first thing that comes to mind this early in the morning!) The North Shore is spectacular in the Fall when the leaves change colors.

As one person mentioned, explore I belong to several groups on there and there are tons of get-togethers to join in on. Search my letsplaybingo group and come play free bingo with us on 3/12. Meetup would be a great place to start though. Lots of variety as far as groups and you'll find so many weekly and monthly get-togethers that there is bound to be something that fits into your schedule so you can get a little "escape"

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answers from Madison on

It being winter doesn't help, even if you don't suffer from SAD, like I do (I take Vit D and use a therapy light). Winter just lasts waaaaaayyyyyy too long. And I swear, MN winters last longer than, like, everyone elses.

I was born and grew up in MN. And, yes, some of us do move away. I met my husband, who's from IA, and we relocated to WI (I was 28 at the time). I don't love everything about where I live--Madison is a very liberal town, and it seems like everyone who comes here for the University, stays and raises a family. So it's quite clicky here as well--very hard to find and make friends. I only have one child, so meeting parents through school isn't that easy either.

However. I grew up moving around the state of MN, and always grew up in small towns. If you think Mpls is a clicky place to live--you should try growing up in small town MN. There, you almost need to be a 5th generation member of society before you're "accepted." I'm not kidding. Been down that street myself--feeling ostracized and without/hardly any friends--and I was a natural-born Minnesotan!

Right now, the economy sucks. You have to make do with what you have at the moment. If your husband is agreeable--and you can afford it--then relocating might work for you. You're not the only one who's lost money on your house/property; I'd bet every person reading this has. It's sucky out there right now--and it's not going to be getting better any time soon, either.

I'm naturally a very out-going, extroverted person. But I've discovered over the last few years that I really don't mind the quiet--I have my own editing freelance business, so I sit at home every day and work in my office. I have to consciously go out and actually be among people, since I don't get that daily interaction. This spring, my dog and I are going to start a daily walking program. My pooch is, well, to put it delicately, she's a little on the heavy side. And the exercise certainly won't hurt me, as I'm chair bound in front of a computer all day long.

I belong to a writer's group as well as the Madison Gluten Free group, MAGIC. We belong to a church, but I've never really found a niche there for me. I've made a few good friends here, and we get together when we can afford to (it's so expensive to do just about anything these days, including meeting at a coffeeshop. You still need to buy a libation or something to eat to sit at their tables). Recently, I started looking into spiritualism/metapsychics and am having a ball not only reading about all the cool stuff that encompasses, but I've also connected with some like-minded people within that community and have been having fun doing it.

In other words, your happiness is what you make of it. No one can make you happy other than yourself. Period. Just like no one can make you like yourself but you. You need to find new interests/new directions to divert your "I don't like MN/the weather/etc." and start making happy memories, for both yourself and your kids/husband. It's not easy; believe me, I know.

One cool thing about living in Madison, WI, is the fact that our growing season is about 5 weeks ahead of MN. Since I love flowers, that has been a special bonus for me, as I can get outside and get my flowers going and growing ahead of time. It especially perks my dad up and makes him happy when he comes to visit me from MN and he sees all of my flowers blooming. He gets an early peek/perk, since he has to wait another 5 weeks to see his bloom.

I guess my overall answer to your question is--if moving is absolutely out of the picture due to cost/loss, then you need to rewire your thoughts and adjust your mood and just find interests that make YOU happy. While I agree with the poster who said that the "place" holds some of the joy, I really believe it's more the person who puts the joy into the place.

Good luck.

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answers from Tulsa on

I am in the same boat. I finally got a therapist. What has most helped is having someone who validates my feelings and reassures me that I am not repulsive. I also found a couple of women who feel the same way I do about here. We vented about the clicks and the things we don't like, then we moved on to having lunches and trying to make it as fun as we can. We also plan on walking when the weather gets warm. It is still lonely and I still don't like it here, but I am trying to change my attitude in hopes that it will be better.

My husband won't take a huge loss on this house and he won't move very far away so moving would cost us money but not make me much happier. I feel better since he at least went househunting and we talked to other parents who say their neighborhood kids don't play outside either. That is something I really miss.

This country club area has several mentally unbalanced people who create crazy neighbor drama. Many good people move as fast as they can sell their houses. I had to learn to assert myself quite firmly with two elderly neighbors. "NO I WILL NOT sign a letter against other neighbors. DON'T ask me again!" I also learned to not give my cell number out and not to let people in when they stop by to visit. Busy, busy, busy...

I wish I had an answer. I don't really. I do know it is possible to live somewhere and not like it. It is not all in your head and it is not you.

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answers from Youngstown on

I totally understand what you are going through. About 2 years ago we moved to another city in the same state, about 2 hours away from where we lived. We had such high hopes when we moved, and it turned out to be horrible! You wouldn't think moving only 2 hours away would be that different, but it was. We went from country living to the city, the people were not friendly like we were used to. I stayed home all day with nowhere to go, I didnt know anyone. We moved from a really nice house into a crappy house. I woke up every day for two solid months crying because I was so miserable. I missed my friends and family so bad. We lived there for a year and a half, and I never really made any good friends. I made a few friends, but they turned out to be not so nice (high school drama stuff). I got so depressed I finally went to a therapist and that helped a lot.

We finally decided to move back home, and that was the best decision ever! We are back home now, and our lives have improved ten fold. I am back at work and I absolutely LOVE my job, I see my friends on a regular basis, and we spend lots of time with our families. Our quality of life is so great now, compared to the year and a half of hell we went through. My husband and I have both been promoted (with substantial pay raises), lots of good things have happened since the move home. I know this is where we are meant to be.

I'm not telling you to move, I am just saying that moving home was the right choice for us. You need to be where your quality of life is the best it can be. I hope you find happiness. I suggest seeing a therapist. It really helped me when I was so unhappy. Good luck to you!

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answers from Chicago on

You are correct that most natural-born Minnesotans are very insular and hang out with the same friends that they grew up with. Heck, if I still lived there I would too. 10 years ago I moved to Chicagoland and am just NOW starting to make friends, almost all of whom are also transplants to Chicago. It is not just Minnesotans who stick with their childhood cliques.

The weather certainly can be a drag, even for seasoned Midwesterners. I hope that the summer weather has improved your experience a bit, at least so you can be happy until you get the chance to move, like you want. If you end up staying another winter, try to embrace the season. Go to the St. Paul Winter Carnival and the Torchlight Parade in Mpls. Partake in the outdoor events, go Christmas caroling, play some tackle football in the snow, go tubing and skiing.

Next question: Anyone Move Out to Warmer Weather Place?