Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall reflections...

Today another milestone: one year ago I journeyed to Denver with 5 ft of my entire life's possessions, no job, no prospects, a few friends, and ready for new scenery. I'm exactly where I want to be, doing the things I thought I'd be doing, I just took the scenic route to get here :)

It's been a year of adventures! Trail raced in Hawaii. Snowboarded greens to blacks to semi-backcountry. Officially started my own freelance graphic design business. Ran the forests of Ecuador. Went white water rafting and tubing. Turned backyards into urban farms. Biked Lookout Mountain. Herded cattle on foot. Climbed my first 14er. Ran a mud race. Became an aunt. Started tutoring.

It's been a year of great love and heartache. My reasons for moving here were for me, not for a guy, though credit where credit is due… I moved here much quicker and easier with love, than had I been without. Love opened my eyes and my soul, showed me adventures, conquered fears, and when it disappeared, I found love in new forms and found myself again. Everything worthwhile is worth the while.

It's been a year of healing. Per above, healing the heart. There's no drug for a broken heart…can't just run away like most of us have done moving to Denver in the first place :) I appreciate the past, accept reality, and am looking forward to what lies ahead…in the end, everyone should be healthy and happy…not stuck in blame and hurt. Scars still healing from getting doored. My bank account is still healing from my ski bum months. My body is rid of the crappy protein shakes and the stress of competition. I enjoy running and working out and napping and eating meat once in awhile…but all in moderation. Healing means taking a break and resolving from within…not just overlooking the wound and jumping onboard the next thing.

It's been a year of growth. Decided food stamps were too complicated to apply for. Learned how to snowboard. Relearned working for an ad agency with small innovative designs on a tight schedule and budget. Conquered my fear of flying!!! Eating more like a vegetarian and exploring new produce and recipes. Uncovered a new taste for swiss chard. Still learning how to clip-in to my bike pedals…hopefully learned to avoid car doors (see also 'healing'). Transitioned back into the corporate environment, back to one solid brand. Remembering what's really the most important in life.

It's been a year of great company. Leaving Chicago wasn't too hard, but certain moments I felt a million miles away from my comfort zone. Thank God for technology today…I'm immediately surrounded by old friends and family. Gardening was my vent, and as seeds in the garden miraculously just seem to grow, so did my bond with the other gardeners. And GIRLS! what would I do without them?! They swoop in just at the right time, with such perfect empathy. Guy friends, don't sweat, you rock too. 'Iron sharpens iron' and this couldn't be more true…I've got some iron sharp friends that I will be forever grateful for. Thank you for steering me in the right direction instead of drifting us out to sea.

I'm excited in anticipation of what this year will bring. My bucket list includes mountain biking, visiting the western slope and southern mountains, gardening through winter, sharing knowledge with others, and learning and growing where I can. We'll see how the journey unfolds... :)

Let the summer never end!

My first Colorado September! This is my first year missing the pumpkin festival back in the midwest…but I survived…will get my fall fix in a trip to see the aspen colors. Seems like the sun is stronger…maybe because the leaves are falling, or because it's been one bluebird day after another, but it helps transition to these shorter days. For the first time I had to quit gardening early b/c I eventually couldn't decipher the colors of the tomatoes in the setting sun. Living up to my rabbit title, I nibbled on a couple cherry tomatoes…trying to savor the last of these abundant fresh picked bites.

This is where celebrations begin. Enjoying farm dinners from the bounty of our hard labor. This season I didn't eat much besides these greens...and was able to avoid the 'unsafeway' grocery stores :) Now it's a matter of bottling it all up and preserving the goodness for winter months.

Reflecting back, I found myself in the best environment possible in these urban gardens. Better than any bad tv show, ice cream, or drug, the gardens were a true healing detox. Here I was completely surrounded by genuine people, good conversation, besides just the healthy food. Though this wasn't a full immersion farm experience, I might have grown even more this year than I did last.