Even before I considered splitting from my husband, staying in Fargo for good was never part of the plan. So leaving is not a question of if, just when/where/how. It's not a bad place, but my major complaints are that it's too small, too flat and way too damn cold.
Winter alone would be sufficient reason for moving, but I'm noticing more and more a predominant small-town mentality here. Even though Fargo itself isn't that small, it's largely populated with people who moved from rural areas. Some of them are lovely, but many of them are not anyone I'd care to associate with. Call me a snob if you will, but they remind me too much of the non-summer-book-readers of yesteryear. I've been going to school, so most of my associations have been in academia. Now that I'm done, I've been venturing out into the broader community here and have discovered that the university environment is much more urbane than most of the rest of the town.
I went to a bar a few months ago, trying to get out of my comfort zone and be social (second time in my life I'd ever been to a bar, by the way). Music was awful. No one was dancing. A Rick Astley song came on and I was just about to leave when a guy invited me to hang out with him and his buddies. Yeah, sure, why the hell not? They were alright, nice people, but not really anything in common to talk about. I gave one of them a ride to a different bar later that night. My car radio is almost always tuned to Classical Minnesota Public Radio (I don't have anything against popular music; there just don't happen to be any stations in Fargo that play the good kind). So we get in the car and the radio comes on and he asks, "What's that?" "NPR," I say. "What's NPR?" Seriously? So we get to the bar where he wants to go next and as he's getting out of the car he asks for my number. "Oh, no, I'm just not ready to date right now," I say, when what I'm really thinking is, Buddy, you seem like a nice guy, but if you haven't heard of NPR, you don't get my phone number!
So, yeah, not planning to set down roots here, but moving is complicated. I'm still unemployed. My children's father lives here and he's a good father. I don't want to take the kids away from him. He's said that he doesn't want to live here forever either, but neither of us yet has concrete plans for when or where to move. I miss mountains and I would love to live near the ocean, and more diverse (and educated) neighbors would be nice. I think I'd fit well in either the Northwest of the Northeast. Winter hit hard and fast this year, motivating me to think harder about when and where to go.
It's hard to beat Fargo for cost of living. I've made some good friends here. There are nice things about this place, but I'm feeling more acutely that this is not where I belong.