But so is Colorado. Over the past couple of months I have been missing Colorado more and remembering how much I love it there. I miss the Colorado clouds, the sky, the ever-present sun, the mountains, the sunsets. I miss the rivers and the trees. I miss Fort Collins. I miss the culture of Old Town, the breweries even though I can’t drink much beer, the small restaurants, the many local coffee shops, the hippies and the hipsters, the locals, and the music. I miss my friends who are still there. I miss the houses on Mountain Ave. I miss the bike lanes. At times, I even miss the fucking freight trains that blow through the center of town.
When I was in middle school I wanted to grow up and live in New York City. I wanted to be an actress or a model. I wanted to dance, to sing, to be in front of a camera, or on a stage. I even had the hotmail email address to prove it: nycbaby624@yes,iamthirteenandemailjustgotcool.
But now, after my fourth or fifth visit to the city, I am sitting on the bus going back to middle-of-nowhere Pennsylvania and feeling very excited to be out of the crowds, in my own place, with my kitties, feeling settled, cozy, and like I have time to read. What I realized on this trip is that so much time is wasted in the city. What did we do while we were there? We ate a lot of good meals, walked around some, but mostly, we waited for trains in the cold, and then sat on the train for the hour commute from Flushing to anywhere in Manhattan. All of that waiting started to really make me appreciate how nice it is to live in a manageable town or city. I’m a big fan of efficiency, and that was not an efficient way to get around. I always had it in my mind that anything you could dream of is available in the city. That may be, but it could take all day to get it. And then you have to carry it all the way back on the train.
So, maybe I don’t want to live in New York after all. I’ve thought about going back to the west coast a lot. Seattle. Portland. San Francisco. They are at the top of my list.
The not-so-secret plan that I have had ever since graduating from Colorado State was to go back and be a professor in the philosophy department there if they need to bring in a young, feisty feminist. I doubt this is the path that will make me an actress, but I am okay with that. In the four years that I spent in Colorado, but more importantly during my last year there before graduating, I really experienced what it feels like to be at home. I settled into a community. I identify with Colorado. I love Fort Collins. A piece of my heart is still there.