Thursday, June 19, 2014

Five Years

On this day five years ago, my mom and sister drove me to the Dulles airport. I had a few suitcases, a couple carry-on’s, two eyes full of tears and a one way ticket to Denver, Colorado. 



No one, including myself, knew how long I'd be gone. My mom and sister hoped it would be 5 days or 5 weeks. And here we are five years later...and 15 lbs heavier. I couldn't fit in those jeans to save my life. 

On this anniversary I thought it would be appropriate to share five things I've learned since my cross country move: 

1. Making friends in your mid-twenties, after college, sucks. 
It's not as easy as stumbling into class (half-asleep) and asking your "friend" next to you to take notes, while you put your head down on the desk. Going to the bar makes you suddenly feel old and going to parties is a thing of the past. So where do you meet friends in your mid-twenties? Go to purse parties at apartment clubhouses, hire a photographer to take photos of you, and talk to the vendors you hire for your wedding about more than just your table linens and color palate. Sounds lame huh? It's the truth. Rest assured, five years later, I can confidently say I've gained more friends (good friends) than just the maintenance man at our first apartment. 

2. Going three days without sunshine makes me borderline depressed. 
When Mr. B convinced me to move here, I thought I was moving to the frozen tundra. It's Colorado and Colorado is known for its snow, right? Well guess what everyone - the sun shines here more than Florida. Yes, on average the sun shines more than 300 days of the year. Coming from the middle of PA, where it's gloomy nearly 90% of the time, I realized how much Vitamin D my body really requires. And it's a lot. The point is, I now understand why I spent half of my high school years lying in a tanning bed.

3. Beer is better than liquor and can get you just as drunk. 
Beer is a food group in Colorado. If you've scrolled through my Instagram feed, it wouldn't take you long to realize that we like beer. And we drink a lot of it. When you come to visit us, you know a brewery will be on the to-do list. Maybe even two or three or four if you are lucky (sorry mom!). The college palate of Keystone Light and Raspberry Vodka doesn't stick around long after you've been introduced to the joy taste of micro brews. 

4. It is important to have a versatile wardrobe.
Wearing all of the following throughout the course of 24 hours is totally normal: rain jacket, gloves, hiking pants, t-shirt, shorts, bathing suit, winter coat and a snow hat. Although the sun shines a lot out here, when you take a trip to the mountains, the elevation can cause it to snow or rain in a matter of seconds. We've been caught in both and been totally unprepared. It only takes once for you to learn the lesson of traveling in layers.

5.  Saying goodbye to your family never gets easier.
You'd think after five years, we'd be used to saying goodbye after visits and vacations. Let me tell you, you never get used to it. I cry every time. They cry every time. And we just become a big mess of slobber and snot. It always takes a few days to get back into a routine of daily life and for the ache in your heart to weaken just a little. Although, it never goes away. If you have a trick, send it my way.

***

And a few more, just because.

6. Being landlocked makes that once 6-hour-drive-to-Ocean-Shitty seem like a day trip.
From time to time, I yell blame Scott for being stuck in the "middle of the country", rather than a few hour drive from a coast (AKA the beach). I am a water child at heart and he is an adventurous mountain boy at heart. While I want to splish-splash in the ocean, he wants to climb 14 thousand foot mountains. While I want to put on my water shoes and jump into a dirty lake, he wants to lace up his hiking boots and play in the woods. We are different people, but some how make it work. Ya know, like making him buy me a new house with a giant bathtub. Think I can convince him to build me a water slide in the master bathroom?

7. The view of the Rockies will never get old. 
On a good day, when the haze is lifted, the clouds are parted and you can see the mountains from miles away - I usually do a double take. Sometimes, it's hard to believe those majestic snow-capped mountains are our back yard. The Appalachians don't got nothing on the Rockies. #truth

8. Property is sold at a premium in Colorado. 
I never should have taken for granted all of the space I had as a kid to roll around in the grass, jump 8 feet from the swing set, or run bases with my brother. We'll be lucky if our future children can fit a 4 foot plastic pool in our yard, let alone a swing. 

9. Dogs are liked more than children. 
Okay maybe not quite, but Colorado is extremely dog friendly. From restaurant patios, to breweries, and even clothing stores, Monty has been to more places than most of your children. 

10. It takes 5 years to finally call a place home.
Some days it feels like I've been living here my whole life and other days it feels like I just stepped off the plane. I can honestly say it's taken me five years to officially refer to Colorado as home. Well most days. When people ask where I'm from, I confidently say, "Colorado. But I am originally from Pennsylvania." That keystone state is still a huge pat of me and I am proud of where I came from, but I couldn't be more happy to have spent the last five years in Colorful Colorado. I have you to thank for that, Mr. B.

I hope the next five years are just as good as the last five. 

Mom, sister, brother, friends...time to move.

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