If there is one thing I have learned over the last year, it is that things can look good on paper, but at the end of the day, a girl's gotta go with her gut: it's all about the FEELS.
Warm sunny beaches, fresh ceviche, bikinis, and a no rules lifestyle? Seems perfect, right? Believe me, it was. It was beautiful, and relaxing, and laid back in a way I never imagined. I am supremely grateful for the 4 months we spent in the Mexican Caribbean. However, in all honesty, from the moment we stepped foot on Mexican soil, things never seemed to "click."
I just didn't feel at ease the way I thought I would. Nothing went as planned. I enjoyed my time, but I had to try. I soon came to realization that I am a mountain girl through and through. I respect, admire, and am astonished at the beauty of the ocean...but it doesn't resonate with me the same way that snow capped peaks and evergreens do. The mountains are my home, my recharging station, and my safe place. I like a drier climate, I like sitting in a cozy cabin or apartment while the snow falls, and I love being able to walk into my beloved Target whenever I choose. I don't think this makes me ungrateful, I think it simply gives me clarity into what sets my soul at ease.
On paper it probably looks ridiculous to leave Colorado during the Holiday Season, and then come back during the armpit of winter...aka February; but that's how things played out and I don't regret it one bit. I am currently sitting fireside, watching snow caked trucks drive by the coffee shop while I sip on a Vanilla Latte. I don't miss the beach one bit. We left when we were ready, and things have been clicking ever since.
You are probably wondering what Casper, Wyoming has to do with all of this? Well, allow me to take you back 11 years...all the way to my college bartending days... *Cue the 90's wavy/hazy fade out...*
I met one of my very best friends when I was a new bartender at one of the most popular bars in our college town of Fort Collins. Her sister owned the bar, and from the moment she picked me up at my apartment and took me to her friend's party, I have admired her sincerity, willingness to have a good time, work ethic, sense of humor, and general groundedness <--one of those words I make up because it's my blog.
Her name is Brett and she is from Casper, Wyoming. A few years after college, she moved back home, and since then, I have made the bi-annual trip up from Denver to spend a couple of days with her in her hometown. Every time I returned home, I would tell people I could see myself living there...not because of the town, but because of the people. I always have such a good time here. Everyone is close, which reminds me of the town I grew up in. Everyone works hard, isn't pretentious, and I don't know, I just feel at ease with them. I always had such a good time every time I made the trip.
Like I mentioned before, once we decided things had run their course in MX, things have been clicking. One of those things, is that Brett's dad doesn't reside in his beautiful home in the winter. (He is one of those lucky ducks that gets to fly south...) Being the giving friend that she is, she offered to let us stay in the home throughout the remainder of winter. Now, we have no intention of staying somewhere for free that long, but it does come as a great spot during our transition; while we nail down jobs and decide where we want to start laying down some roots.
Wherever that ends up being, we want space. I visited Downtown Denver before coming to Wyoming and it just felt so different. I can't imagine living in that area anymore. It didn't feel right in my heart. But when I woke up this morning, made a cup of coffee, and meditated while looking out the window towards the snow capped hilltops, my heart felt the most at ease that it has in a long, long time. It just feels right.
I don't know where we will end up. But I do know that I am done making decisions based on what looks good on paper, or what other people think makes the most sense. Whatever we choose will be what feels right in our souls, what aligns with what we want most, and what is best for our little family of 4. Mexico gave me enough space to realize that I have to listen to my gut...and sometimes that means ending up in places you never imagined.
I know everyone loves beach pics, but these shots speak to my soul in a way palm trees just don't. Maybe it's just me...but I'm actually really okay with that.