The other day Kevin, the guy that works for us, walked in and asked what I was doing as I was typing furiously behind my computer.
“Writing! I’m actually writing!” I said, full of glee and excitement.
He looked at me blank faced, “Oh? What are you writing?”
and I looked at him in confusion, “Like- I’m writing. I’m a writer.” (duhhhhhh!)
“Are you writing a book?”
“Maybe… someday.” I trailed off as I realized that he didn’t know me as a writer. I haven’t been able to write in months. It’s almost as if the last few years I’ve struggled deeply with what to say, it used to flow so easily. I make time, sit down with everything set up for writing and then my mind goes blank.
The reality that this kid who I’ve seen almost every day since October didn’t know this about me shocked and alarmed me as I still consider being a writer as my primary identity.
A week or so before this I was catching up with an old friend who asked me if I had been writing and commented that they were worried about me because I haven’t been. My parents have stopped asking me if I am writing… I’m not sure what is going on and I’ve even thought through times in my past where I had writer’s block. Usually it was when I was needing to process something but was procrastinating or that what I was suppose to say I didn’t feel like sharing with a critical world.
I’ve not really wanted to be seen, I suppose.
I enjoy posting pictures of our pretty life here but haven’t wanted to really be KNOWN, if that makes sense. Maybe it’s pride, maybe it’s busyness. I’m not sure but suddenly I can write again and I don’t know what has changed.
At least once a week Ben or I just look at each other in amazement of the fact that WE GET TO LIVE HERE. We were called here, it’s so clear even in the hard times. And we’ve had incredibly hard times. However, that sentiment of being called is consistently made clear in many conversations that we have with friends and family.
Ben’s friend Joel was here recently and asking us the usual questions of how we liked life here and how we were doing, etc.
“I feel like we escaped.” Ben said sincerely. “I never want to go back. There has never been a moment where I’ve thought we’ve made a mistake in coming here.”
At the end of July last year I was tired and burnt out. I was depressed my parents had moved to Colorado and had that panicked feeling of being left behind and out. I wasn’t eating because the grief was so real. I remember trying to eat and dry heaving over and over. I reached a weight that I hadn’t seen since I was a growing girl and wondered if I had a problem.
The pain of being in a place of waiting is one of the hardest ones. When you wonder if God really does have a plan for you. When your dreams seem like wasted things, spoiled by years upon years of staleness.
Hope is a beauty of a thing. Last July I was dying on the inside because hope had left me. In it’s place was raw desperation for something different, something that would make me feel alive again because I knew I was called for something more.
It’s a hard life up here, don’t get me wrong. Everyone works hard and sacrifices for the privilege of being here. Even as I am typing this, with my door propped wide open to look at the mountains the smell of a fresh joint wafted in and made me smile. So Colorado. I can’t help but love it for who it is.
There is a rough comradery and community that flourishes when you meet the right people. People seem more willing to be seen and known here. Desperate maybe, to meet other people committed to making the sacrifice to be here with them. Too many transients come through here, with big dreams without the will to push through the hard times are crushed by harsh reality and creep back home. To be known and cared for is beyond any price up here and people cling to real authenticity.
There is also a dark underbelly of Summit County that grieves my soul. There is an almost commonplace heavy drug use and mental illness like I’ve never seen or heard of before.
There is tarnish on the beautiful glimmer and facade where news stories gloss over another teen disappearing in the mountains or a paddle boarding “accident”. You hear the whispered truth, if you live here long enough. But the media keeps it happy for the tourists pouring in their millions for a perfect vacation experience.
“It’s f—-ing Disney Land,” a young kid grins maniacally, throwing his arms around for dramatic affect, always with a cheap brand of tar-filled cigarette in his hand. “Vacation every day, it makes you crazy.”
…and he would know. He has experienced great loss in his short life. Everyone I have known here has lost someone they knew to suicide, some, several people. I’ve heard that this area of the country has the highest suicide rate in the country but it’s swept under the carpet. Stories of ongoing research and studies being done up here surface occasionally on “how high altitude affects the human body”. Locals grin knowingly.
All in all, this place, this juxtaposition of two polar realities is my home and I love it. I can’t understand it all, I don’t have to but we were clearly meant to be here.
There was a point to the waiting. A growing up had to happen, a place in my heart created to know that I know that I know that even in the heaviness of a sometimes difficult existence that I am home. I’ve not doubted it once.
Dream chasing is not for the faint of heart. Be ready to face obstacles, difficulties, anxiety and brokenness like never before… but can I just encourage you friends on the precipice of a major leap?
Actual life living, in the adrenaline-filled stream of life is better than the crushing depression of dying hope.
I know this is true. Take that next step.