I moved to Denver out of anger.
A year ago, I was at Barista Camp, sitting at a symposium about running a cafe. Everything that people suggested for what a good owner/manager does, I just kept thinking about my Boss Man. “But that’s what Steve already does,” I fought back tears.
I was living my dream a year and a half ago. Dream job, dream roommate, dream boyfriend, dream circle of friends. Life was amazing, and I was thriving under the pressure.
When the walls came crumbling down, I didn’t know what to do. When after months of putting all his effort into getting a fair shake fell through and Steve made the sad decision to close our store, I was at a loss. I was bitter, angry. I wanted to flee the midwest, start running and never look back. Without realizing it, without meaning to, I started shutting down. I wrapped up the infection in my soul and ignored it.
Phoenix with Glenna? Louisville with Emma? Seattle with Jess? Did I want to go to Boston, because of the song? Did I want to go to South Carolina, because of the travelers from a train in Ireland? No, I decided. I wanted to go to Denver. Denver, for the mountains. Denver, because it was far, but not too far. Denver, because they told me there was a thriving coffee scene. Denver, because I knew the Chaser would love to follow me there. Denver, because moving to another state alone was scarier than moving to another country for the same reason.
Denver itself was a flip of a coin. But fleeing? That was from anger. That my dream First World had been shattered, and I was done.
Anger is a fuel. But not necessarily a good one, and very rarely a healthy one.
I ran on it until I could run no more. And then I found myself complacent. I’d run out of steam, I’d run out of passion. I felt alone in the city, restless in my job, trapped in my townhouse, and discontent in my relationship.
Then, somebody made the mistake of asking me a question.
“Are you happy?”
That is who I used to be. My level of normal was at most people’s really good day. And I no longer was. I was no longer curious, excited, passionate. I was no longer confident, creative, overflowing, or easily delighted. I was sinking. Day by day, complacency was replacing my soul.
Saying “no” to that question was a shock to me.
This last month has been like a shockwave through my system.
Two dear friends moved to Denver with their significant others, and I’m finally started to develop real relationships with people I met here. I’m single for the first time in two years, and cautiously starting to question who I am and what I want. I put in my notice at my promising management job so I could step back into the role of student and coffee geek.
Life is scary.
But for the first time in a year, anger is no longer my fuel.
I’m allowing myself to feel for the first time in far too long.
There’s a lot of bottled up pain, a lot of displaced emotions that I’m finally letting myself examine and deal with.
I’m starting over.
But it’s time to heal.