about that comfort zone


A comfort zone is a beautiful thing. It feels like home. It’s the cozy, familiar cushion that we all cling to, to a certain degree. We all have one and we all need one. It’s a safe space we can come back to over and over again, to regroup, to recharge, to relax and whatever else we may need.

Having lived quite far outside the boundaries my own personal CZ for the past year, I’ve started to think of coming home as slipping back into the cushy and familiar – but it doesn’t have to be. At one point in my life – not that long ago to be honest – all I wanted was consistency. I craved routine and clung to it like it was the only thing that would keep my head above water. My daily routine typically consisted of: yoga, work, Netflix, sleep, repeat. And that’s kind of it. I know – SO boring.

Now, I’m doing everything I can to push myself farther and farther outside of the familiar each and every day. I fear anything even remotely habitual – the last thing I want to do is go through the motions, to feel like I’m on repeat. So, upon moving home at the end of this month (my god, when did August get here?) I’m going to actively challenge myself to not fall back into my old routines, to cling to the already-been-dones. Not to say I won’t spend time with old friends, eat at my favorite restaurants, peruse the usual bars, have my yoga-work-Netflix-sleep days – because let’s be real here – I’ll absolutely do all of those things, but I’m also going to mix it up. A lot.

I’ve always thought of adventure as synonymous with travel, but I’ve come to realize that there’s always adventure to be found if you’re open to looking for it. You don’t have to backpack in New Zealand for the better part of a year or move to a remote mountain town to fill your days with adventure (although I plan on the first aforementioned and have already checked the latter off of my bucket list.) True, I did spend 21ish years growing up in the great (and at times impossibly cold) state of Minnesota, but there are still so many nooks and crannies left to explore, so many rad people to get to know, so much room for ACTIVITIES (only avid Step Brothers/Will Ferrell fans will get that reference.) AH! I’m all excited just thinking about it.

I’ve been on a huge personal growth-spurt the past year, and I’d like to continue that. I also like to think that I’ve come to see the world through a different lens – with more gratitude, compassion, openness to possibility and diversity, humility (if you wanna talk humility, move to a place where you literally don’t know anyone,) and an all-around softer lens than before. Truth bomb: I used to be (and still can be) a little rough around the edges at times. I’m workin’ on it people. But seriously, I'm itching to get to know the city, the state, that will always be home for me in this new lens - and to get the absolute most out of this homecoming. I'm making a promise right MEOW to myself that I will make the most out of it, because who knows how long I'll be there. I've got big plans, yo.

I’m a perpetual student of life, and I never want to stop learning about what I have to offer the world or what the world has to offer me. Let's see what the next leg of the journey has in store for me. See you in a jiffy, my Minnesotans. I have missed you so!

Stay curious and never stop exploring, you guys. xx

get lost

Today was great. Why? Because I got lost.

Why didn't I just use Google Maps or drop a pin? ...because where's the fun in that?

Although my hike started with the familiar, it ended with quite the opposite. I went up Smuggler and instead of going right back down, I decided to take the scenic Hunter Creek Trail for the first time. The moment I turned left for the Hunter Creek trail, I had no idea where I was going--and I couldn't have been happier. It was both exhilarating and uniquely refreshing to not know where I was headed or where I'd end up. Every path I went down and every corner I turned was entirely new--something that I haven't had the excitement of in way too long before I moved to Aspen. I was 120% present; I listened to the sound of the creek and the wind stirring up leaves, I paid attention to every bend in the path and I completely forgot about everything that wasn't right there in that moment. I took my time, I had nowhere I needed to be except exactly where I was. It was bliss, and I don't throw that word around freely. I was so happy to be doing something different that I even enjoyed the fricken birds chirping along the way. It was by no means an epiphany or revelation, but it was one of  those underrated "ah-hah moments" where I learned a little bit more about myself. I took a few "wrong turns"  but I mean really, is there such thing as a wrong turn when you're exploring?

When you live somewhere for 22 years, you get comfortable--you get in a routine. You could drive to the grocery store in your sleep. You know where all the great sushi restaurants are (and the not-so-great ones, too.) You know where to fill up with the cheapest gas. You tend to stick to what you know--at least that's my problem.

In order to get out of my routine, I had to get the heck outta Dodge. Most people probably don't need to pick up and jump state lines to get out of their routines, but that was exactly what I needed. I was too comfortable, which is how I know I needed a change. If I didn't get out and experience the world on my own--truly alone, not just "studying abroad" or moving into my own place 5 miles from home--I think I would have stayed forever. I'm at the point where I'm not entirely settled in and feeling like Aspen is home, but at the same time I know that if I had the choice to hop on a plane tomorrow and head back to the Minneapple I couldn't do it. I know I wouldn't be satisfied. There are too many I-have-no-idea-where-I'm-going-but-wherever-I-end-up-is-AOK-with-me adventures to be had. Not to say that I won't end up back in Minnesota someday, but I have way too much of the world to see before I know it's where I'm meant to end up.

From here on out I'm making a promise to myself to get lost more often. To never shy away from taking the road less traveled or trying something new, whether it's hiking a new trail or moving half-way across the world.

Let's see where I end up.

week 1

I did it, guys! This past Monday marks a full week of living in Aspen without training wheels (AKA my mom.)

We'll start with my living situation. First of all, in case you weren't already aware, rent is STUPIDLY expensive here in Aspen. I live a couple blocks down from a luxury mobile home community--trailer park just doesn't seem to do it justice. Wait, isn't that kind of an oxymoron, you ask? No. Not in Aspen. These places go for over twice as much as my real house back in MN. Nuts. Anyhoo, the universe was willing it because I managed to find an awesome roommate with an awesome condo after about three days of being in town. I'd like to think of her decoration style as 'rustic chic'--the place is seriously fabulous, you'll just have to come see for yourself. The best part so far? My bed came today so I can kiss the air mattress goodbye. Booya.

I've spent my time thus far working, getting my asanas on at yoga, exploring Aspen and meeting some super rad people along the way. Also, I've been binge-watching Game of Thrones--finally. And drinking a lot (but not too much, of course) of wine. Rough life, right?

My backyard is essentially Smuggler Mountain, which is a great spot for hiking and catching a great view of the city. My first solo attempt at hiking Smuggler was, to say the least, not pretty. It's a solid 1.4 mile hike to the viewpoint--which is well worth the trek--but if you're not acclimated, it's like 25 times harder, I swear. I was getting lapped left and right by all of these middle-aged people and senior citizens (no offense ya'll.) I quickly realized I'm the least in-shape person in Aspen. By a lot. (And probably poorest, which is neither here nor there, but it's true.) Also, my heart skipped about a million beats when I swear I saw a scorpion run across the path up ahead of me--it turned out to be a chipmunk. Fear quickly turned into adoration when I realized it was just a furry friend.

Anyhoo, I'll be honest--there are times when I'm having so much fun I don't even think about home, and then there are the times that I get so caught up in my insecurities and vulnerability I think it's game over for sure. Sometimes I feel like I could actually hop on a flight back to Minnesota--like when I pay eight dollars for ONE shot of Jose Cuervo at the bar (kidding but not...) or when I'm laying in bed at night without little Chuckie to cuddle with--but then I remember that change takes time. Don't get me wrong, I love everything about this place already from the people, to the scenery and to the small town vibe, but adjusting to a new place after having lived somewhere else for your entire life isn't easy. It's actually really, really hard--especially when you started off not knowing a soul. I'm scared to be here in a new place with new people and new experiences, but I'm even more scared to go back home, because I know if I do, I'll probably never get out on my own and do all of the cool sh*t I've always dreamed about. The easy thing to do would be to head back home where I'm more than comfortable, but I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet. I can't resist a challenge--I love a good one--and I know once I've gotten over all of the speed bumps (or humps, as the signs in CO say) I'll never want to leave. So stay I shall.

After all... if not now, when?

c u l8r

I blinked and just like that, summer has come and gone. Wtf? (Why That Face? according to my totally hip mom.) Time has a funny way of disappearing when you're loving, laughing and enjoying the heck out of life. Crazy, huh?

Oh, and one minor detail...I'm moving to Aspen tomorrow. Yeah. The day has FINALLY come, and I couldn't be more excited, but I would be flat out lying if I told you I'm not scared as hell at the same time.

Since I've returned from WE Fest (yes, that happened...) about three weeks ago, I've been so busy with work that I've barely had to time to pack and get ready, let alone process the change that is about to go down. Full disclosure here, peeps. There have been several moments (OK, a lot of moments) where I've spontaneously burst into tears in the last several days as things have finally started to sink in. (And typically the only thing that can bring me to tears are those sappy Sarah McLachlan commercials about abused animals.)

There's something both wildly exhilarating yet heart-wrenchingly bittersweet about buying a one-way ticket. The thought of not knowing when I'll get to sit down with my family for dinner, spend a night on the town with my friends or cuddle up with Charlie on the couch next is terrifying. Oy, cue the tears.

At the same time, the fact that I'm shakin' in my boots is a sign that I'm doing something right. I've come to the realization that change is scary--it just is--and if I weren't having second thoughts and worrying about what's to come next, well, that wouldn't be normal and that means I'm not getting far enough outside of my comfort zone. Also, I've realized that it's OK to second guess yourself when it comes to taking big leaps and chasing down dreams. What really matters is how you embrace the change and make it work for your life.

How am I going to do that, you ask? Good question...I suppose only time will tell. One thing I do know, though, is that I'm going into this with a completely open mind--bring on the new experiences, new people and obviously, new food, Aspen. I'm ready for ya.

Welp, people. Next time you'll be reading a post from me I'll be inhabiting the mountains in Colorado. Again, crazy. I'll obviously be home to visit whenever I can sneak away, but no promises on ever coming back to the homeland for good. I'm already madly in love with the mountains and I don't think that moving to Aspen is going to somehow reverse that. Sorry.

Stay tuned to hear about my adventures in Aspen. Teaser: I may be biking to work for awhile. (For those of you who don't know me, I. loathe. biking. It's been 10+ years since I've had an interaction with a two-wheeler and I'm less than thrilled. Why would anyone subject their crotch to the discomfort of a bike seat of their own free will? Thanks but no thanks.) Hashtag diva much?

This is far from a goodbye, btw. You're not getting rid of me that easily, my MN friends. You're going to have to put up with me for many, many more years to come whether you like it or not :)

Last thing, I swear. I don't care how long I live in Colorado, I will never ever be an Avalanche fan. Wild fan for life. Just sayin'.



Damn, it feels good to be a goal crusher.

Start saving up and requesting time off work, you guys. If you haven't already heard through the grapevine...this chick is moving to Aspen!

This is a dream come true in the most literal sense possible. Since I fell in love with the mountains during my trip to Switzerland, I have legitimately had dreams about frolicking through the mountains. (I know, it's weird to picture me frolicking.)

I've had goals to move to either New Zealand or Colorado (or really any where with a nice set of mountains) and become a Key Leader at lululemon athletica for several months now, and I was offered the job today after my second interview. MEEP. So surreal. I'm still not sure if I'll wake up in the morning and this will all have been a pigment of my imagination. Only time will tell ;)

No details have been decided upon yet, but you KNOW that I'll keep you guys updated. Obviously. You'll be hearing A LOT about Aspen in the next several weeks and months, people. Prepare yourselves.