Watching the snow fall the last few days in Colorado has been bittersweet. It’s so, so sweet to be back in my home country, and even more so in the mountains I have fallen so madly in love with over the past few years.
But the bitter? I’m not sure when I’ll watch the snow fall over these peaks again.
I have accepted a place in a graduate program at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. You might remember how this summer solidified the thought I’d had for a long time that teaching might just be the career for me. I applied to two graduate programs in education before leaving for Nicaragua, and found out I got into both of them shortly before Christmas. Honestly, I never really imagined myself heading back to east-coast city life, but the stars have aligned and it appears I am bound for the Big Apple! I’ll be on the plane at the end of this month, but first I’ll have to drive my belongings from Colorado to Florida on what just might be a pretty epic 2,000 mile road trip.
I am excited, but also a little bit sad. Moving to New York and starting grad school will certainly be a huge adventure and a big step towards the stability I’ve been craving the past year or so. But it will also mark the end of this wonderful period of wandering I’ve had over the past 5 years. I don’t know that I’ll have another opportunity to take long periods of time off to travel, and I probably won’t ever live in a National Park again. Of course, there are other exciting things to look forward to. But I won’t be ‘on the move’ quite as often, and I have mixed feelings about that.
Now seemed like the appropriate time to put together my bi-annual slideshow. This one was especially challenging, as the past six months differed quite a bit from beginning to the end. This summer started out in celebration, as I got to reunite with my family in Washington DC for my German brother’s graduation from graduate school. I spent the next three months living in a cabin inside Rocky Mountain National Park, working for the Boys & Girls Club, and feeling very uncertain about where my life was going and how I was going to make things work. Those ‘things’ clarified quite a bit as fall drew nearer – but not without some heartbreak. After more than four years together Austin and I decided to go our separate ways, and the time seemed right for a new adventure. So I headed down south to Nicaragua. There I made new friends, faced a myriad of new challenges, and grew hugely as a person and as a teacher.
Now, armed with the confidence of these experiences, I finally feel ready for a future that grows clearer and more exciting by the day. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth taking the time to look back.
Happy New Year single reader.