I can’t believe it’s been ten days since I finished my move. Where the fuck has the time gone? I feel like I just got here, and yet…
I won’t say that I regret the time I spent in Houston. That would be grossly unfair to the wonderful coworkers and the stimulating and fun work that I got to do until I experienced my “change of employment.” (Apparently that’s the term all the cool kids are using on their job applications these days.) But I never made a secret of how awful everything that wasn’t work ended up feeling to me.
I think when you grow up in Colorado, there are certain things you take for granted, including just being able to throw on your hiking books, step out your back door, and walk for miles. Houston is an endless city, far larger than Denver ever prepared me for. And even when you’re downtown in Denver, you can look west, see the mountains, and know that you can be there in an hour, climbing the Flatirons.
I’ve missed this place so much, in ways I don’t even know how to describe. Ways I didn’t know until I was driving a rented minivan (containing my bicycle, computer, and plants aka Delta and the Spice Girls) and with every mile I just felt lighter and lighter. Every other drive to or from Houston, I’ve always taken three days and felt absolutely exhausted at the end of it. This one I did in two, and it exhilarating in a way that hours on end in a minivan have no right to be. When we (my friend Corina kept me company so I didn’t have to do the drive alone) crossed the border into Colorado, I stopped at the first gas station so I could get out and hug the eight mile marker on highway 287. I wandered around with a ridiculous grin on my face, answering anyone who asked me how I was doing, “I don’t have to live in Houston ever again!”
I expected it to take a week for me to get acclimatized to the altitude again. Instead, the day after I arrived, I took out my bike, checked my tire pressure, and went for a 13 mile ride, just because I could. Like I never left, except I wasn’t this good at hill climbing four years ago.
There are still a hundred scary challenges waiting for me. I’m unemployed and trying to figure out what the hell I’m going to do with myself. Geology job pickings right now are so slim, they might as well be nonexistent. I still have pile of student debt gnawing at my heels that I’m scared to look at straight on. I miss my best friend Mike, and I miss my cats.
Yet I feel so much more alive. I don’t know if I was unhappy in Houston precisely, but I feel as if layers of lead and grime have peeled off of me and fallen in my wake. I can ride forever, the mountains are in the west where they belong, and the sky is so blue.