Looks like we made it!! This may be news to some, but before leaving Denver 2+ months ago I told myself and my closest friends that I'd be back...by Halloween, job or no job. I figured two months would give me a chance to beg my company to transfer me...give me a chance to catch up with all my Chicago friends...all while getting me back to the mountains in time for SNOW! And here I am, right where I want to be!
So what exactly happened over the past two months that I haven't been telling? Well, let me share...
Having worked outdoors in the fields all summer, I was actually eager to get back to the stable indoor environment at the comforts of my desk...and of course catchup with my closest coworkers over pitchers of margaritas and pulled pork tacos...mmm.
It sounded like the team was swamped with work and I was ready to step back in to help. My excitement didn't last long. I sensed my other coworkers feeling a bit bitter about me having 3 months 'vacation.' I half expected this, but felt like I had to continually prove myself worthy instead of just fit back into my former role. The corporate and big city lifestyle fit me like a pair of clown shoes now.
I knew that my time on the farm was truly a mountain high experience, and I knew I'd have to come back to down to reality. But reality hit hard and fast! People at work were more stressed and upset than I remembered. One partner, whom I was working with on a proposal for the first time, actually called someone on the team a 'dummy' via conference call. Who does that?! I noticed one morning that all of the cars on Mark's block, including mine, got keyed. WHO DOES THAT?! What happened to paying things forward instead of backward?! Then things were steadily stolen from me...my bike...then my new bike's patch kit...and then my car roof rack. Did I need anymore signs to leave? Nope! :)
Someone who does pay it forward is my fantastic friend Mark, whom I already mentioned was letting me crash at his place. I felt like I was able to make some contribution when I helped him take care of his new puppy. As much as I love and adore dogs though, I don't think my independent self will be adopting any in the near future :) Which is why Mark is the selfless host! He made me feel so welcome that I think I would feel bad swapping couches for another friend's place. How he didn't get sick of me after 2 months, I'm not quite sure.
Perhaps Mark didn't get sick of me because I was always trying to be out doing something. I set a goal to run in my first ever 10K, so every other day after work I'd usually be jogging around Lincoln Park and the lake. My one goal for finishing the 10K was to run the entire distance. Maybe that was too easy, but it still felt like quite the accomplishment...thanks to the support of my family, friends...and Michael who even flew in just to cheer me on :) Next race will be HAWAII!! I'm shooting to run a half marathon there next month, though my longest Chicago run at 9 miles is now back to barely 3 miles after my month of packing and slacking :)
I'm not really sure how far I would have gotten through the past two months without the support and encouragement from Michael :) While he easily could have saved himself a 900 mile flight, or even joined the 10K and smoked me and the rest of the runners, he savored this as 'my' race and cheered me on from behind the scenes. I visited Denver one weekend, completely unprepared for a last minute interview, but he was already back with coffee and resume paper by the time I was out of the shower. No wonder my face lights up when anyone mentions him :)
What helped move along those two months, besides Skype :) were our bi-weekend visits. One thing that Denver lacks is its close proximity to the majority of family and friends, so it felt like the holidays seeing so much of everyone. And I even got to meet my aunt and uncle's grass fed cows!!
I guess it got a little bit easier saying goodbyes to friends this time, even if it's a more permanent move. This summer was a good trial run for keeping in touch with these same friends, and with technology of internet and phones and planes, we're really not that far apart. And true friendships will last.
And thank goodness for helpful neighbors and siblings and especially my mother for all the help tetrising my stuff into the moving truck, all while keeping the cops away :)
The friendly ABF truck driver took off with my stuff and away I went with a carload of bikes in my backseat! I journeyed back to my halfway point in Omaha to stay once again with my stepfamily. More great feelings of the holidays. But better yet was recalling the last time I was there, about to go to sleep, thinking that this day...'Denver eve' was sooo far off. Two months felt like forever!! But I made it! Made it to Denver the next day by noon...signed my lease...unloaded the truck...and I'm home! Right on schedule :)
A couple weeks later and I'm still settling in! Guess I'm just taking my sweet time and enjoying every minute of it :)