My flight from Florida back to Colorado left at a painfully early hour, and after a long flight and a longer drive from the airport, I arrived at Austin and I’s mountainside cabin completely and utterly exhausted. Before visiting home, we had been in temporary housing in another section of the park. We were scheduled to move to our long-term residence while I was away, so I left my car packed so that all Austin would have to do was drive it to our new place when the time came. But after that long day of traveling I was too exhausted to unload or do anything other than sleep.
To be fair, I had heard of the winter storm warning for that night and the next day, but I didn’t worry. It was well into May, how bad could this be?
We were snowed in for 3 days. Our pipes froze, our electricity went out, and all of my cold weather clothes were buried with my car.
Since then the ground has thawed and I have been able to move my stuff inside and hang my puffy jacket in an easy-to-reach spot. But even as the mud dried I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do for work. First I was offered a position within Rocky Mountain National Park’s Division of Interpretation, but it was technically an internship and paid only $70 week – and I just couldn’t make the numbers work. Then I heard rumors of potential emergency hires within the park and contacted supervisors telling them that I was here and ready to work. I received responses that sounded optimistic, but too much time was passing without an offer and my bank account seemed to be shrinking by the second.
Resigned to waiting tables in town, I slugged to the library to use their internet and read the help wanted pages in the local newspapers. That’s where I saw the ad for the Boys & Girls Club.
It’s like it was meant to be. I have been thinking a lot about my future lately, and have been leaning back and forth between teaching or doing non-profit-type work as a career. Now I will have the opportunity to work with children for a major non-profit, and I’m hopeful this experience will provide me with some clarity as far as what the right path for me really is.
I can’t tell you what a relief this pending paycheck is. Now that the snow has melted and the burden of job hunting is over I have started to explore this new place I call home. Yesterday Austin and I went on our first big hike of the season, and while I’m pretty sore today, my appetite for hitting the trail has been officially teased and I’m ready to go! I have a few free days left before I start work to get exploring, and I plan to take full advantage of my remaining time off.
All of those days snowed-in gave me a lot of time to reflect on the past six months. It’s been an incredible off-season, and in many ways, one of the most challenging six months for me thus far. The uncertainty of my future hovered nearby the entire winter and I often felt defeated by it. I faced rejection from jobs and schools on a scale I hadn’t experienced until now. It’s been a humbling time, but luckily for me I was still able to enjoy many, many victories. I spent lots of quality time with family both at home in Florida and in Colorado. I reveled in a fabulous week in New Orleans with Austin and his family, and not one, but two cruises with mine. And of course, I spent nearly a month exploring Japan with my mom.
Now seems like the appropriate time to put together the slideshow I’ve created for myself every six months since college. I’m not sure that anyone actually watches them on here, but I take a lot of pleasure in creating them and like the security of storing them online in case something should happen to my computer. Plus, it’s a fun way to share photos with the loved ones with whom I experienced these moments.
Looking forward, while I have many great adventures ahead, I am currently living more remotely than ever before. And so I’ll probably be posting with less frequency on this blog over the summer. I will likely make it to the library a few times a month, and I hope to have something to share with you when those times come.