For as much as I love to control things, I am also not afraid to take a risk or try new things. If I want something, I go for it. As my loving husband always says, I just make shit happen.
When I was 17, 10 days after graduating high school, I packed up my Jeep Wrangler and moved to California. I didn’t have my parents to pay my way but I was determined to make something for myself. I started college and got a job, I did what I needed to do.
During spring semester my English teacher encouraged me to apply for a honors study abroad program at the University of Cambridge. I applied the next day, somehow got accepted, and was off to England just weeks later without even blinking an eye. I didn’t know a soul in the program, had never been out of the country and had to pay my own (very expensive) way. But I made it work and still believe it was one of the most influential experiences of my life.
Yet another year later, still inspired from living near a big city, I decided to transfer schools and moved to Chicago in August of 2006. If you haven’t predicted the trend, I didn’t know a soul and I was broke, but I did it. I met the love of my life and paid way too much for a bachelor’s degree – DePaul was yet another jump that was risky but I figured it out.
When my DH moved to Washington, DC after graduation it was no surprise that I wasn’t far behind him. Once in DC I hit my stride… I worked my way through an amazing fellowship, got to experience life at the White House and on the campaign trail, met amazing friends, and settled in as a Director at a small non-profit.
Then on the night of December 15th, 2009 we received a call that we weren’t expecting and still struggle to accept, my amazing father-in-law and husband’s best friend had passed away from a massive heart attack. As expected, our world was rocked and I watched as my husband redefined what he wanted from life. I looked around and knew DC wasn’t the answer and by May 2010 we were headed to Colorado.
This time around it was my DH who hit his stride in Denver. Don’t get me wrong, moving to a whole new area gets tougher and tougher every time you do it and he definitely still experienced a few struggles. But now four years later, he’s in a job he loves during the day and partaking in pretty much every outdoor activity at night and on the weekend. We finally found our niche of friends and usually have more plans than time. Basically Denver finally feels like home – for him.
Sure I think the Rocky Mountains are great but if you know me well, you know I didn’t grow up frolicking around outside or camping. I don’t ski, I can’t fish and have never hiked a 14er. I think my outside time is best served on a patio looking over a pretty park with a giant glass of chilled prosecco in hand. So for me, it’s definitely been an interesting adjustment. Add in the struggles with my health over the past few years and it has been increasingly difficult for me to feel like Colorado is where I belong.
I have spent the last 18 months in a funk, there’s no doubt about it. I had a difficult and very different childhood and I thought that if I did everything right – go to college and work my ass off, get married and be a good wife, find a good job and be given a chance to show what I made of – that everything would finally fall in to place. Surprise surprise… it hasn’t and it is pissing me off. And after reflecting on everything I have done, how hard I have worked to be here today, I realized that I had lost my will to make things happen because they weren’t happening the way I had always expected them to.
So how does one survive and overcome living in a city where you don’t quite fit in, battling infertility, finding a job where I really feel like I can fly? You work. You find a way to improve the situation through action. Simply put, you make shit happen. Make what exactly happen? I don’t know yet, but I am ready.