New Year’s Day Hike: Mount Sanitas

Twenty nineteen was the year of transitions.

After a year and a half, I made the very difficult decision to quit my freelance writing job and hourly café barista job at Rapha to jump back into the salaried advertising world full time. I felt the societal pressure to reestablish myself in the professional world, get a “real” job and continue to build my resume. I felt financial pressure to double my income, continue contributing to my 401k and savings accounts, and feel more comfortable month to month. I felt sad that I couldn’t do all of this working at Rapha, continuing to build and nurture my relationships, stay connected to the cycling community in Boulder, and support a company I truly believe in.

The agency job was what I expected because I’ve had several agency jobs before this one. It provided. My co-workers were wonderful. But ever so slowly, the commute started killing me. I tried to pass the time and the miles with podcasts. During the summer months, I would stop at the trails in Golden, CO on my way home to run and wait out the traffic. I even caught the last of the Tabletop Tuesday rides with new and old friends in Denver. But on the other days, I couldn’t stop thinking about all the things I would’ve rather been doing with my time.

So in November, eight months after I started, I quit. I left my full-time, salaried agency job and took another at Crocs as an in-house copywriter in Niwot. Suddenly, my commutes were quartered, I started learning the differences between agency and in-house roles, and re-memorizing the names and titles of all my team members. That’s always the most difficult part for me.

Throughout all of this, I felt like I was losing touch with the community I had built at Rapha. It was such a people-first job; I got to know so many people in the community. It was like the universe dropped 100 friends on my doorstep with an open invitation to all the rides every day of the week. Slowly over the last year I have lost touch with some of those friends.

Except one, in particular. Noot (her nickname).

She and I were baristas together at Rapha and always had the best time. We were so excited when we got to work together; I have never laughed harder with anyone than I have with her. When I left, I promised myself to stay in touch with this amazing friend. I promised I would make an effort to always keep her in my life. Friends this good are rare.

We haven’t seen each other much in the past month, so on New Year’s Day, I invited her to hike Mt. Sanitas with me in the morning—and she said yes like she usually always does. We met at the trailhead around 9:30 a.m. and started up the mountain and picked up like had never left off. Up, up, up we climbed and little by little the stress I felt about keeping friends close, preserving those relationships, enjoying my life outside of work…they faded.

Even after heartbreak and loss and grief, I try to keep believing the universe leads us where we are meant to be. Like the top of a mountain in Boulder, Colorado. Still blows my mind.

I expect I’ll go through more transitions in 2020, but this year I’m trying to keep myself open to them. Open to new opportunities. Open to new friendships and relationships. When I moved here in 2017, I vowed to make choices based on whether or not it would make me happy because, at the time, I was living in the depths of sadness, on the edge of depression. And that tiny shift helped me get to where I am today.

I hope you all had a very happy new year celebration, even if that meant falling asleep before midnight.

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