Category: Changes

starting over

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 my boss 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 my boss 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 G? Louisville with Emily? Seattle with Janice? 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.

It’s scary.

But it’s time to heal.

On turning 24, and then some.

December is often a time for reflection – it’s the end of the year.

For me it’s always been doubly so – with my birthday at the end of the month it’s the end of my personal year as well.

This year is even more – I graduated in December a year ago. Hashtag baccalaureate, k?

-1

Since before I can remember, the my hometown church has ended its Christmas Eve service with Mannheim Steamroller’s rendition of Silent Night while everyone stands in a circle around the darkened sanctuary with candles flickering. As I stood there tonight, I pondered the shifting of generations. Girls I went to high school with now stand with fidgeting munchkins, stepping into the role of wife and mother. Meanwhile the children we babysat are now the high school leaders, singing boldly, volunteering often, and carrying the community on their shoulders.

It’s been a ridiculous year.

Traveling the world, traveling the United States. Getting promoted, my work shutting down. Independent to dependent to independent. Painting and crocheting. Writing and reading and being on three different phone plans. Everybody moving. Also, Reddit. It’s a thing.

Claire makes me laugh.

I move to Denver, CO in a week. A new year, a new state, a new bout of trying to figure out this life after college. I’m on the cusp of something big, the edge of growing up as I leave my college town.

For once, I don’t have much to say. My ponderings have all been written in journals, or discussed with friends. I’m at peace.

’twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…