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.

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'.