Hej friends, and Happy New Year! This year I spent Christmas and New Years in my beloved Steamboat Springs with my family, including Granny, and Jonathan. We ate way too many cookies, managed to (by sheer luck) find a couple of powder stashes, lazed in front of the fire, and generally did wonderful Christmas-y things.
This morning Mom, Jeff, Jonathan and I got up early to hike to the quarry to greet the sun. This is still one of my favorite holiday traditions, and this year was particularly spectacular. It was cold, but the red hue of the clouds was incredible. Like I wrote about last year, I’m grateful for my family, who gives me the gear I need to be able to play outside. The only thing I wore today that wasn’t a present at some point in my life were my boots!
Hiking up to watch the sunrise gives me a sense of peace and purpose for the coming day. I love how the muscles in my legs bunch and release, how my fingertips pulse, how my cheeks feel windburned. This time Mom and I carried our yoga mats up so we had something to sit on, and I spent some time pretending I was an archer carrying a quiver. Yes, I’m definitely still eight sometimes.
I like how the pre-dawn light paints everything in gentle pastel colors, and how quiet it is. I like the crunch of the snow and the creak of the trees as they warm up. I like how awesome the warm tea tastes and feels as it slides into my stomach. But most of all, I love doing it with my people. Jeff tossed me in a snowbank, and Mom and I matched our footsteps so we sounded like one person. Last year I did my New Years hike by myself, and I’m really grateful I got to do it with these people this year.
But that’s not the only adventure I’m going to tell you about today. The other adventure I’m going to tell you about will happen in June and it will likely be the biggest adventure I go on this year. After the end of the school year, I’m going to move to Ogden, Utah to be closer to Jonathan!
Coming from a girl who likes routine, plans, and certainty, this might just be one of the more out-of-character things I’ve ever done. I don’t have a job out there yet; schools tend to hire in the spring. I don’t have a place to live; Jonathan’s current apartment is not big enough for all the skis and bikes we collectively play with! The only person I know out there is, in fact, Jonathan. The level of uncertainty I am willingly introducing into my life is a little mind-boggling.
I’m also wrestling with the fact that I’m leaving Colorado. The longest I’ve ever left Colorado was when I studied abroad in Sweden – I was there for just over six months. But even then, I bought a round-trip plane ticket. Colorado has never not been my home, and quite a lot of my identity is tied up in this state and the Rocky Mountains. I’m also moving farther away for my family, which is a wrench for all of us.
But none of that is the most important part. I am going on an incredible adventure! From Ogden, I could bike from wherever I end up living to bike trails. Snowbasin and Powder Mountain are both thirty minutes away. And I freely admit that I will NOT miss I-70. At all. Ever. (Jeff, Dad and Granny spent SIX HOURS in Downieville on the 23rd. Oy.) I will have the opportunity to learn about a new school and from new teachers. And most importantly, I’ll be with Jonathan.
Here’s where I spare you all the sappy gooey stuff. I’ll just tell you a piece of wisdom I read in a fanfiction story once; when all the cliches in the songs on the radio feel like they apply to you, that’s when you know you’re in trouble. And I am outrageously, unabashedly, happy about all of this. Somewhat terrified, at times, but isn’t that how all the best adventures start?
When I tell people this, I immediately get peppered with questions. This response makes sense to me. What I can tell you is that I don’t have a whole lot of answers yet, but a lot of hope for a really good 2018. I have five months in Colorado, and I intend to make the most of them. And then I can finally stop doing the wretched long-distance thing, and I intend to make the most of that as well!
I hope you all had a wonderful winter break, Merry Christmas or [insert your favorite holiday wishes here], and a good New Years. Here’s to all the resolutions, but more importantly all the hopes and dreams we have. May our hard work and a little bit of luck get us a little closer to them!