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Letter: Great opportunity in North Dakota

I was a Southern California native beach-dwelling girl until 2½ years ago. North Dakota is now my home and being here, running a business during the “oil boom” has allowed me to have a home and roof over my head.

Three years ago, some of my extended family came to North Dakota to work in the oil field business. It meant little to me until I realized that North Dakota might be the only way for me to get ahead in life. Literally that same day I was offered the opportunity to become a restaurant owner. A month later I moved to North Dakota.

Operating a business, especially a small restaurant, is difficult in the oil field. It is a seven-day-a-week, 12-plus-hours-a-day job. It wears you down. But it also is a wonderful experience. I have become a business woman. I have met some wonderful people, from locals to oil field workers from all parts of our country. I like to think that Tioga is the perfect town to live in and run my restaurant.

The Bakken economic growth and its opportunities for people are as varied as its weather. I have moved great distances away from family and friends to find new friends and family in a place that I never knew about or ever dreamed I would be living and working. My business skills and my life experiences have undergone their own growth that has only made me a stronger person.

Whether I stay here as a local business owner or move on someday, I would never have had quite the opportunity to run my own business and excel as I have had here in North Dakota.