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A love letter to Colorado

Dear Colorado,

You might be the healthiest relationship I've ever had... I had grown up hearing whisperings about you. I mean hell you are the reason I am alive writing this... its on your soil that my parents met. Since my day 1 out west straight up 2011 you forced me to grow (Dad stop reading here) the early morning New England ice skating whoops I mean skiing wasn't doing it for me. Until we went to Beaver Creek and did a day trip to Vail Mountain. Lawd knows why I was even in the back bowls but as I was singing Frosty the Snowman pizza-ing down the slope something forever clicked. (Continue reading Dad).


The trips got more frequent, we became a little less long distance. Especially when Evan started at University of Denver. I grew to not just be in awe of you but in utter love. The rolling hills, sharp white crusted rockies, the sun that would always seem to shine... I mean like all relationships there's ups and downs but thats healthy. The opposite of love isn't hate it is actually indifference. Lets not forget about the Colorado plague...for a span of two years I would get so very ill when I got home from Colorado (maybe I was love sick?!) so bad I wore masks on flights to D.I.A before CDC said it was cool #hipster.


Of course who can forget my first college party experience...I thought the year to be 1801, the president to be Hillary Clinton (I'm with her) and couldn't shut up about B12 which I probably did need. Yet again I was forced to grow! Grow to learn how to not get hospitalized from a few vodka shots, we have very low standards around here. Evan having to post in his Sig Chi Facebook group chat that he was "looking for a phone with a pineapple case and a turtle pop socket," was definitely a diamond in the rough.


When we first moved Ev into DU we did a day hike in Boulder. I remember so clearly asking what school was in this town?! It looks so pretty. We did a quick drive by and jumped out of the car to peak into the stadium.


I had to know you further...big state school...no one was thrilled... My college counselor did not even mention University of Colorado Boulder when she saw I was hit by the Colorado love arrow. "What about CU?" I asked.


So I toured the school. If you've ever seen the flatties you'll get it. When I got into DU my mom cried, when I got into CU I cried.


Presidents day weekend 2018. Decision time. One last visit to both. Went to class with Evan and Christie. Went out on the town with both. Experienced my first post frat Abay hungover day, my first cosmos...On the DU spectrum I used my alter ego from North Carolina for the first time-> growth into a heist of the next five years. We were at a lunch before the airport and I looked at my parents and I think we all knew there hadn't really been a decision. "It's Boulder." I put it in my instagram bio because how else does news get around these days? And it was a done deal.


As I am sitting here writing at Lost Gulch it's my last time (for now) looking over the vast valley that is the best second home I could've ever asked for. If I know anything for sure in this mad house it's that this is not the end of Boulder and I's whirlwind relationship. I mean hey if you love something let it go right?


Lost Gulch, a lookout point from Flagstaff Mountain. Where I saw my first Boulder sunset and now my last Boulder sunrise. As I said in my college essay, the sun rises and sets everyday. It's what we do in between that matters. In between I turned 18 & ubered my friends up here and tried to light a cigar to no avail... god damn those Chinook winds. Put it in my back pocket where it ended up disintegrating as I sat at Pasta Jays. Once my car joined the Colorado gang my visits became more frequent. I craved the security in looking out at my life and knowing that nothing seemed too important or dire when you could so quickly get lost in the blankets of mountains and clouds. I turned 21 up here and got written up for swinging champagne. No glass says the ranger who spotted us through his swinging glass binoculars.


Chautauqua park, First time we tried to come here we were actually a park away (a classic Bay bridge vs. the Golden Gate bridge mess up) I was like wow don't trust what you see online kids this is not as pretty as I thought...Next visit I realized if we had just turned the corner and walked 10 steps we would've reached the tall grass that butted up to the jagged dramatic flatties. Here is where I came for a picnic the day before I decided CU, here is also where I took my graduation pictures five years later. Here is where I came first week of freshman year with my new friends and here is where I returned time and time with friends new and old. Here is also where I would come to cry, especially after Rosie died. Yet it is also where I hosted Millie's second birthday party where some of her "Aunts" even brought presents.


South Boulder Core Power, Clara and I were scoping out free workout trials and Core Power offered a whole week so we bit. The first class I took the instructor Tammy had us do a burpee every time Justin Bieber sang, "what do you mean," I wish Justin was a little less confused... but I loved it. It reminded me of home in a place where I knew no one. I got a membership and one day shortly after I had been cut from sorority recruitment Bri the teacher announced that there was 1 spot left in teacher training and if you've ever thought about becoming a teacher, nows your time. And I had thought of it. I loved to lead people in my "gym boot camp," and yoga felt even deeper than that. It felt like a safe place, somewhere where any day I could walk in and smile. I cried and I signed up. The next fall I was denied at auditions and I cried some more and scheduled practice teach times. Then I got the good news and I cried again. My first class I taught was at South Boulder and an astonishing amount of my friends showed up, I didn't know my friends cared so much. I cried some more. I found myself and my passion on Baseline Road. I'm not sure if it would've happened anywhere else. Or maybe it would've because this is what I was meant to do.


Folsom Field, That same place we drove by on our way to hike my first time ever in Boulder. That same very place that I peaked at through the gate... that left a spark in my mind to apply to CU, is where this May 2022 I sat in a cap and gown on the green next to some of my friends from freshman year. The same field where the adorable buffalo ran around, the same place where at freshman orientation Kari caught two out of the three shirts thrown to our massive class.


I got lyme disease, I met an amazing chiropractor who I saw my second to last day here who has watched me grow. I got cut from rush, but with the extra funds I found my dream job. I chose a random roommate from the Facebook page, I got Kari. I was talking about New Hampshire and Quincy heard and asked if I happened to know my middle school best friend. I sat in row 2 and the girl in row 3 asked if I was the Kate who had been DMing her, I met Sophie and Clara. I used to be someone who would claim to say hi in my head to people who spoke to me. Now I was someone who ran around on the first night of college with a previous stranger knocking on anyone and everyones door. Meeting people I still know and cherish today.


The state school didn't eat me up, it made me fight. It made me me. I'm proud of the me Boulder helped me become. Colorado I am forever yours.




Love

Kate

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