Wednesday, June 3, 2015

One year

May 19 was the one-year anniversary of our move to Colorado.  We celebrated the weekend before, with some big mountains at RMNP.

Looking out at Longs

Dream Lake

Once we were back at home, I wrapped up everything I had to finish with the class I was teaching.  Then on the 19th, Rob and I went to Horsetooth while Will was at school.

It was raining that day, as it had rained most of the month of May in northern Colorado.  Everything was wet or flooded, and the sky was foggy.  There was hardly anyone else at the trail.  I went all the way to the summit, for the very first time.

Getting to the top wasn't actually hard per se, at least not physically.  I mean, octogenarians climb Horsetooth, as do toddlers.  I just get kind of panicky on mountains, and also: The Vertigo.  My entire body was a point of contact as I slithered my way both up and down the mountain.  My arms hurt for a couple of days afterwards.

I was lucky enough to enjoy another few leisurely runs/hikes on my own while Will was still in school.

South Ridge

I have to walk a lot of it, but I really like the Audra Culver Trail.

I remember when we left St. Louis, I wondered if I would miss running around Forest Park.  

I have not.  Never once.  Not even a little bit.  

Even so, it has been strange to transition throughout this year.  We arrived essentially as visitors to this place, feeling--okay, it's probably a bit dramatic to say this, but-- almost like refugees.  Everything was new, everything was magic.  If I slowed down enough to stop and think about the uncertainty of the future, it was terrifying.  So for the most part, I didn't.  

Things worked out, at least in the short term.  One day last fall while I was getting groceries at the Safeway, my phone rang-- it was essentially a job offer, to teach a primate behavior course at the university here.  The pay was low and there were no benefits, but I wondered how on earth I had gotten so lucky.  This was the thing I could do, the one thing, without having to start my whole life all over again.  I jumped at the chance.  I did it, and I loved it.  These students were some of the best I have ever worked with.  The department has been amazingly supportive, and while I cannot be entirely sure what will happen next, it looks like I will continue to have teaching opportunities in the future.

I've never lived in a place that I intended to make my home, as in--for the rest of my life.  But here we are, this is it.  That thought is far more comforting than it is unsettling.  There's no rush to see all the sights, do all the things, figure everything out, because we have the next several decades to continue making sense of it all.  For the first time in my life, I finally have an answer to the question Where do you see yourself in five years?  In ten?  I see myself here.

And not just here, in Colorado, but here in this house.  This house that's not perfect and has given us a fair share of happy little surprises, but we somehow managed to get it even in the crazy real estate mess that's pushing practically everyone else out.  We were so lucky.  I don't know why the sellers chose us over the dozen or so other offers they already had, but they did, and we're here.  No more moving vans or boxes, ever again.  I will grow old in this house.  I am here to stay.

Thank you, Colorado.

Thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

Glad you're enjoying it! I moved here from the Midwest in 1996 and can't imagine leaving. We're doing our after-school week in the mountains this week, and every day I'm reminded of how amazingly lucky we are to be here.

Melissa said...

Aw, thanks! Glad you still love it. Once I asked someone who grew up in CO if you ever end up taking the mountains for granted. She said even after a whole lifetime, she does not. :)

Anonymous said...

wishing you a lifetime of happys and fun adventures in your NEW forever state.!! , house !!! and the always incredible MOUNTAINS!!! kick back and drift into,the life of a coloradoan!! just wish there weren't so many. states between us!!! miss you. but wish you all nothing but sunshine and blue skies!!NO MATTER the weather!! luv and hugs😘. mama