Tuesday, January 14, 2014

And... I'm back again

On a grey, unsettled, chilly January day in Denver, I have retreated to an eclectic coffeeshop with the students, the self-employed, the unemployed, the musicians, the artists.  And me, falling somewhere in the middle of it all.  I remain undefined while consuming some of the best tomato/spinach soup I have ever had, all creamy and tomato-y and cheesy without having any actual cheese in it.  I am scalding my tongue and the roof of my mouth, thanks to a nice barista who seems to be chronically undercharging me.  Maybe I already look destitute, in my mismatched pink and navy flannel shirt and fleecy purple plaid scarf and jeans ripped clear across the knee.  I'm pretty sure no one ever has paid only $8.35 for soup, a large almond milk chai, and a giant chocolate chip cookie (Giant).  The price is still boggling my mind.  Don't worry, I tipped my newfound best friend.

As of January 10, I am fully and so weirdly unemployed.  In the middle of November, my boyfriend and I took a week-long trip to Virginia to visit family, and I decided I couldn't come back to Denver and continue working at Starbucks.  I was done; it was time.  The Philadelphia Marathon came and went, and it didn't include me.  I spent September and October fighting a sickness I couldn't shake until finally, a week before the Marathon, I crumbled, called in the antibiotics, and called off this marathon I was supposed to have been training for.  Who knows if there's a correlation, but my training started suffering and my health started failing right around the time I started opening at Starbucks consistently.  Opening, for me, meant falling out of bed around 4 a.m. to bike 3 miles to work by 5 a.m., including a few sub-zero mornings.  School, caffeine, fatigue, constant coughing or sniffling or "coming down with something..." I couldn't do it.  My body paid a wicked price, and I wasn't able to join my friend in her very first, amazing marathon.  My boyfriend and I are still dealing with the after-effects of the prednisone the doctors put me on for a second time this year.

So here I am, sitting in a coffee shop, worrying about health care come February 1, sipping chai, not yet doing anything to find employment.  I have skiied a lot and all over since leaving the Bucks - Copper Mountain, Winter Park, Berthoud Pass, A-Basin, Steamboat Springs, an impromtu, ridiculous weekend trip to Jackson Hole this past weekend.  Needless to say, I'm ripped, now.  (Sort of kidding, but no, not really kidding.)  Skiing is a whole lot different from running, especially the slow, long runs I'm used to.  Skiing is short, intense, and quad-thrashing.  Ski in powder, and it becomes all of those things amplified plus the sensation of floating down the mountain in silence.  There were a few runs I found myself alone in trees, snow sparkles drifting all around while the lower sun illuminated my life, and the lactic acid disappeared, and the heavy powder disappeared, and the wrench in my knee disappeared, and it was just me, floating in a forest of crystals and sun beams.

I have learned and believe that nothing lasts and everything changes.  Life, changes, and you can help it change how you'd like it to; you can adapt to the changes; or you can drift along and watch everything shift and grow and die around you and remain encapsulated in whatever bubble you've created of fear and comfort.  I've been doing the latter for over 4 years, although I started tearing down my bubble and finding my footing when I moved to Denver on a whim and a prayer.  Now, it's time to kickstart my life, to jump in and make my own changes.  To finally embrace everything I am and the person I am growing into.  I am so many things, and while I was a barista for a while, I want to be so much more.  2013 sucked pretty badly in my world.  So, okay, time to make a giant change.  Time to ski and run and sip chai and eat delicious, gluten-y cookies and heal.  It is time to Live.  Here we go!

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