Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bloom

It's almost November and I've been in Colorado for a little over a month now. That's not very long but somehow it feels like I left Boston about a million years ago.

I'm sitting in the living room watching snow fall outside the window and it's making me laugh. Over Christmas last year my sister and I were sitting her apartment during one of the many nasty storms Utah got over the holidays and she said something about how much she loved to watch snow fall. I was jealous that my time in Boston was turning me into a snow hater. Maybe it was that I always got jolted from the endless sunshine of Huntington Beach to gloom and doom on the East Coast but I just loathed the winter and all it's evidence. It was dark and cold and it just seemed to go on and on and on.

So it's funny to me that here I am, sitting in the living room watching the snow fall and listening to Patty Griffin, and everything feels soft and peaceful.

Which brings me to something I've been thinking about a lot this last month. You know that generally good advice that we choose the way we react to things and that it's up to us to make the best of whatever is going on in life? Well I generally believe that. I also generally believe that sometimes there are points in our lives that things just flat out suck. And we can choose not to let it swallow us whole and we can choose to have faith that it will get better and we can even choose to try to slap a smile on our Facebook photos while it's happening. But there is a big difference between grinning and bearing it and truly grinning. I felt that in the Spring when I switched from the job that was sucking my soul to the one that was actually pretty great. It was like that moment when the cold medicine kicks in and you think-why didn't I take that an hour ago?? Multiply that by like a thousand and that's how I've felt the last six weeks. Like the first gulp of air when you've been holding your breath underwater. Even the last six months in Boston I kept thinking that I was so lucky to have been able to change jobs and I was doing something fun and learning this new sport-but I lived in a city I was done with and knew that I didn't want to be with the company long term. I did all the things I would have advised a friend to do in the same situation-I bought cookbooks and hung out with friends and wrote and joined a gym that made me more excited to go, I finally got my bike ready to really ride. I chose to be happy. But despite all my efforts, life was kind of in a holding pattern there for awhile. The day I got an email from an old friend saying, "hey I think there is a good opening at the USOC, do you want to give it a try?" my first thought was-I'm only five months into this new job, would this be me just running away? Fortunately that thought was trumped by one of my life mottos which is "new opportunities are worth exploring." (although that is the same motto that made me tell that recruiter that yes, although I explicitly said don't ever come to me with a job on the East Coast, especially not Boston, I would LOVE to apply for a job at a tiny little brand with no money that I will hate! So the system is not foolproof I suppose!)

So I explored and two months later I'm happier then I can remember being in years. And it's not because this place is perfect-Colorado Springs is SMALL, and there are no single mormon boys to speak of and I have to drive to Denver if I want to shop the J. Crew sale rack or go to a show. But my job makes me happy every single day and yesterday I rode my bike on mountain roads and a guy who trains Olympians is writing a weight lifting program for me. Life is good. Really, really good.

So the fact is that two years ago I was feeling restless and bored even though I had a good job and a beach in my front yard. It took some freaky twists but now here I am in a city that has effortlessly hooked me at a company I didn't even dare put on my dream lists back then because it seemed so out of reach. It's ok once in awhile to choose to be unhappy or bored or sad. My firm belief is that feeling that way is no way to live, but sometimes it's the only thing that will jolt us into action. I think we can Pollyanna ourselves into staying in something that just isn't good enough-a job or a relationship or a habit. Nobody tells you to ignore your body when it says it's thirsty or tired, why ignore your heart when it says it's unhappy?

I'll get off my soap box now-the snow is still going strong and I have to find my friend Damian's obscenely good hot chocolate recipe. I do love a snowy day!

8 comments:

becky said...

katie, i know i rarely comment on here, but i always love your insight. your life sounds dreamy right now. if only you could find one of those elusive single and yet awesome mormon boys...

AP said...

I am so happy for you! If you happen to find it, I'd love a copy of the hot chocolate recipe :)

myrtle budge said...

Yes life sucks sometimes and we just have to not let us swallow us . . . i love that thought. way to bloom.

Lee said...

Does this mean I don't have to be a fan of Tretorn on Facebook anymore?

I think my cousins just moved to Fort Collins last year. They say they like it. Your opinion has made me believe them.

turleybenson said...

YES! This is my theory, too, and I hate when people tell you to just suck it up and be happy. Life IS change, people, and you gotta act to get that change.

And I'm so happy you're so happy. Can't wait to be your neighbor :)

ps let us know of any other "dreamy" jobs you may hear of...

Katie said...

SO GLAD you are loving it here! And snow here means ski season is right around the corner!!!!!!!

miche said...

Oh Katie, I'm so glad to hear how happy you are. All of the things you said, about making yourself happy and choosing to be ok with your circumstances... that's what I've had to do for the last 5 years while living here in Boston. I have MADE myself be happy and content here, but it does not come naturally and my heart isn't in it all of the time, so the unhappiness seeps out. It's a good lesson to learn that you can create your own happiness, but it does get tiring, and I am weary. I hope I can find natural happiness when we move (it is going SLOW, but it is going to happen!!!)

jane said...

i would like the osbscenely good hot chocolate recipe.

i'm glad you're happy. my heart feels for you...but katie, even us married folk get moody & unhappy on a very regular basis.