One Month at my parents’ house + A Very Merry Christmas

5:44 a.m.

After this cup (several cups) of coffee and after my morning run around the neighborhood (I’m running again!) and after my dad takes my car to the Honda dealer to get checked out because he’s neurotic, I’m making the long and painful drive back to Colorado. And I’m feeling emotional about it.

But it’s 2020. So, what are we not feeling emotional about?

I could wring about 1,000 emotions out of my heart right now about how I’m feeling right now, but I think it comes down to this: the last time I drove out of Florida, I left for a different reason and as a different and broken person. This time, I am leaving feeling more full than I have in a long time.

It was just three years and two months ago that I moved to Colorado, but it might as well be a full lifetime. On that morning in September 2017, I backed out of my parents’ driveway in a car stuffed to the gills with everything I owned. I was crying so hard I could barely see through the windshield. Through the depression I’d sunk so deep into the year prior. I was so desperate to leave a life I was barely living, a town that no longer felt like home, a toxic mindset I’d adopted as a result.

I left, and I didn’t look back for a long time. I built a new life in Colorado and rebuilt myself as a human being in the process. I wish I could prescribe everyone a life in the mountains as an antidote for heartbreak, grief, rejection, etc because it worked for me. But there’s a way through for everyone.

But this time, leaving today again in a car with my belongings, is different because I am different. And I’m sad—for so many different reasons. I’m sad because I’m finally happy and I will miss my family and the month we spent together. I’m sad because it was abundantly clear when I arrived how quickly time passes. Every second, another second gone.

I’ll miss waking up at 5:30 in the morning to enjoy a cup of coffee and read a book in the glow of the Christmas tree lights, with my mom across the table from me doing the same.

I’ll miss cooking for my parents every night and subjecting their very traditional chicken-and-rice palettes to my experimental recipes and ingredients.

I’ll miss seeing my sister’s family and catching up with her in person instead of a text every two weeks.

I’ll miss Publix. God, I’ll miss Publix.

I’ll miss early morning runs and bike rides, watching the sunrise turn the palm trees a rich pink then orange then yellow. And the weather. Florida in the winter doesn’t get much better.  

I could go on and on, and I have in my head, rolling around the idea of staying another month. Of extending this vacation and this precious time that I’m not sure I’ll be able to duplicate next year. I knew getting to Florida would be a long and arduous journey of its own, but I didn’t realize leaving would be equally as painful. Maybe that’s the eight months of COVID-related isolation talking.

Maybe it’s the thought of waving goodbye to my mom. My best friend. Yeah, probably that.

But.

I’m so excited to run my favorite trails in Colorado.

I’m excited to ride bikes and meet up for coffee and snacks with my friends, train for big races that will hopefully carry on in 2021 and—I can’t believe I’m saying this—get back to my itty bitty apartment in my itty bitty town of Louisville, CO.

I am excited to get back into a routine; while my parents did their best to set up a workspace for me in their guest room so I could work remotely before Christmas, I know my own space is where I’m most productive and creative.

6:26 a.m.

Well, my coffee cup is empty and it’s time to finish this thing the way we started it: with a run.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the holiday season as best as you can and that you have a very happy new year. Pray for me on this 28-hour journey home. lol

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