Well, it’s happened.
My room is an explosion of belongings (most of which I have no idea what to do with), my spider-roommates are quite upset with all the commotion (and coming out in the masses to tell me so), I am procrastinating (hence this lovely blog post), and mostly just relieved that I have yet to unearth a scorpion in this cluttered mess (this is somewhat of an impractical fear, as it is bound to happen eventually).
It’s almost time to move on.
I am a mix of emotions right now. Luckily, most of them are of the positive kind. As I neared my original end date two months ago, I had felt panicky, desperate not to leave. Now, I feel ready. I feel like I gave this place my all, and I am ready to move on to the next adventure.
And the next adventure is an exciting one. I’m headed home for what I hope to be a very relaxing few weeks, before I head back out west – this time to the mountains. The lease is signed, the paperwork has been filled out – I’m all set to work as a ski instructor in Keystone this winter. I’m going to get to explore another region I’ve always wanted to spend more time in. I’m going to get to try a million more new things. I’m going to get to ski all winter. And I’m going to get to do it all with a pretty gosh-darn goodlookin’ fellow (I guess his personality is okay too).
But, it does feel strange to leave. I can’t believe it’s only been 5 months. In the last five months I’ve learned how to hike, camp, rock climb, whitewater kayak, work an oar boat, traverse steep cliffs and narrow ledges, drive a 4-wheel-drive vehicle on SERIOUS 4-wheel-drive terrain, play guitar, salsa dance, take amazing photographs, stay hydrated (easier said than done out here!), live a more environmentally friendly existence, and feel pretty without make-up. I’ve made some amazing friendships I will always cherish, and have met some of the most amazing people I’m sure are in existence. I’ve become an encyclopedia of facts about desert ecology, geology, survival skills and animal life. I’ve perfected my public speaking skills, and yes, I have even mastered the art of directing eager visitors patiently and skillfully to the restroom with utmost grace and professionalism.
But most importantly, I’m happier and more fulfilled than I’ve ever felt in my entire life. The Mariana who lived in Boston for 4 years, who graduated school and moved out west just 5 months ago – that Mariana feels like she existed 5 years ago.
And that’s exactly how I like it.
Fare thee well Canyonlands. It’s been an incredible adventure. Now, on to the next.