New Clean Water Fund (CWF) RFP timeline for 2025 projects! RFP application opens June 1, 2024.

I’m here

By: Bryan Goldner

Why did I come here? Was it to get away? Perhaps to “find myself”, whatever that means. I keep mulling it over in my head and only one thing comes to mind. Opportunity is nothing without action. I see a possibility. I turn it, hold it in my hands, feel for weight and potential abnormalities and then say, “why not?” Every time I think about it, I didn’t come here to be something else, or to escape from my surroundings. I came here to see what would happen…as if making a decision would somehow cause my whole everything to collapse into a singularity and then explode into a nebulous dispersal of my existence.

It’s scary. I’m a kid really. Up until now most all of my decisions, short of what pants I put on that day, I claimed no responsibility for. This one is all on me. It feels good. I’ve grown more in eight months, two weeks and two days than in the last five years of my life. I claim responsibility for who I am, what I am doing and the consequences of those actions. No one forced me. In fact, more often I was confronted with something along the lines of, “Are you insane?” Who am I to say what the best path is? Is it better to live in complacency with the current state of affairs or risk comfort for novelty? I was always one for the latter.

So… sitting in the room of an apartment, staring out of a window into the desert I made a decision. I had a year on my hands. I was a long ways from anything I would call home and I took a chance on something so foreign to any kind of way of life I’ve ever known, just the thought made my stomach drop. But it also made my heart pound. It made my blood boil and my mind start to stir. When the phone interviewer asked me which of the locations I would take preference for I knew what I wanted. I found a satellite map of Northeast Minnesota, I looked at the office locations and I put my finger on the one that appeared like it was the farthest place from, well, much of anything. I said to him, “Tower please.”

Two weeks later I was on a plane. Nothing’s really been the same since. I have no fear of going to Australia, Norway, Antarctica or any other place on this planet. Maybe even some places not on this planet. I started talking with my dad about relativity and he described the passing of time in a way I hadn’t really considered although it seems obvious now. He said that as you get older you have more time and more memories to compare the present passing of time to. When you are five, a week can feel like an eternity because when the pool is empty each drop is a considerable addition of volume. When you are seventy that same span of time passes as if it were nothing. What is a drop to thousands of gallons? There is not enough time for fear, and even less for regret. YOU are the only thing keeping yourself from accomplishing today what you have dreamt for tomorrow.