a month away from moab

Well I have been out of Moab for a month now. I can’t decide if it feels like it’s been less or more time than that, but a month doesn’t really seem accurate. The summer seems so far behind me, but Vermont also still feels so unfamiliar that it seems impossible that I got here almost 4 weeks ago.

I’m not going to lie to you, folks. Being in Vermont is hard, and so far it hasn’t gotten any easier. I am sort of getting used to just not being excited about anything – which is really hard for me. I want to be amazed by things and encouraged by things and challenged by things. So far, however, the only “challenges” I have faced at work are questions that can be asked and answered in under 60 seconds, and usually have to do with climbing terminology or differences in personal writing styles. I have been impressed by the foliage, but to say I’ve been amazed would be a great exaggeration. And encouragement has been hard to come by – no one out here knows me well enough to make me feel really encouraged. I have been challenged by the rain, but it’s less of a personal challenge and more of just an ever-present dampening of my life. I never considered that places existed where you could hardly ever sit outside and read, or drive with the windows down. What’s the fun in that?

Keeping in touch with people from home is my lifeline. My roommate probably thinks that I am kind of a hermit because I spend a lot of my time on the phone, but it really is the only thing that keeps me sane. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy being by myself and having alone time. However, 4 weeks of alone time is a lot of alone time.

Today I did a pretty good job of keeping myself busy. I went to work for the whole day, and had my first article published on the Alpinist website, which was exciting. I went for a run through the nearby Johnson State College campus, which has a wide, hilly path that weaves through towering trees. I made chocolate-chocolate chunk cookies and tomato risotto, did laundry, cleaned my room, and started reading On Writing by Stephen King. Tomorrow it is supposed to rain 4 INCHES (in ONE DAY! that’s 1/5th the precipitation that most of the Front Range gets in an entire YEAR!), so I’m sort of curious to see what that’s going to look like (apart from soggy and puddle-y). Overall I had a pretty good day, I’d say. But it is hard to be happy here, and I am already looking forward to finally coming home in December. Not everyone can be happy everywhere, and I can say with confidence that Vermont is not the place for me.

In the meantime, I am just going to try to take Teddy Roosevelt’s advice and do what I can, with what I have, where I am – which includes posting a gratuitous photo of the foliage from a trip I took to New Hampshire this past weekend.  Enjoy!

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