It occurred to me the other day that it’s been one year since we moved into our new/old home. In another instance, I realized that we have been living in the state of Colorado for just over 5 years. This means that I have lived in Colorado longer than I have lived in any state other than my adolescence in Minnesota. I have been in at the foot of the Rocky Mountains longer than my college years in Indiana (which felt like a lifetime itself), longer than my early childhood in Ohio, and longer than I lived in Chicago.
And I couldn’t be happier.
I remember telling people shortly after our move out west that it felt surprisingly easy to settle in, thousands of miles away from everything familiar to us both. I felt like I was “home” for the first time in years, after jumping from place to place since the age of 18, wondering where the wind would take me next.
I didn’t expect us to settle in so easily, let alone settle down at all. I knew Colorado was beautiful, and Anthony was clearly in love with the locale, but as we packed up the U-Haul for the cross-country drive, I truly saw Colorado as one of many places we’d live as we’d hop around the country, never staying in one place long enough to establish roots. I told Anthony, “Colorado first, and then we’ll live in San Francisco — or maybe overseas!”
Strangely enough, 5 years have passed so quickly that I haven’t once thought about leaving. Not to say that we’d never consider another nomadic leap someday, but I really can’t imagine living anywhere else right now. Aside from the fact that we’ve definitively put down some of those elusive roots for at least a little while (just ask our mortgage company!), Colorado still, easily, just feels like home.
Perhaps it’s the scenery — we find ourselves snapping pictures of mountain vistas we have photographed several times before, just overtaken with the pure beauty of our surroundings. I have noticed even in this blog it seems like there is a little photographic deja vü from time to time. Somehow, the scenery just never gets old. Couple these spectacular views with copious amounts of sunshine, and sometimes it feels like we’ve discovered a little corner of heaven.
Maybe it’s the possibility for adventure. I was never anything close to an “outdoorsy” girl in my youth, and wasn’t really up for taking chances. However, these days I don’t even bat an eye at an afternoon hike and have even been coerced into a few backpacking trips, which were surprisingly well worth it. Not to mention the sports I’ve picked up while living among the weekend warriors, including rock climbing and snowboarding.
But most likely, the reason we have never thought twice about leaving, and feel so at home here in the Centennial State, is the group of friends that we’ve found surrounding us. We’ve been lucky enough to have found a great “chosen family” out here, who I can’t believe we’ve only known for a small fraction of our lives. We see each other through hard times and celebrate even the smallest of victories. A ragtag group of (mostly) Colorado transplants, we’ve been there for each other at holidays and milestones, when our blood relatives were thousands of miles away. While the hardest part of living out here has been the distance between us and our families, this group of friends is the next best thing.
As our roots grow deeper and become more firmly entwined into this rocky soil, I couldn’t be happier that Anthony gave me the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and introduced me to this place and the life we’ve made here. Our need to see the world certainly hasn’t lessened a bit, and I’m sure we’ll bounce around some more, either short- or long-term. However, one way or another, I have no doubt that we will always consider Colorado “home.”