Denver. I was wrong about Denver. I came to Denver for graduate school because (brag alert) even though I was accepted by all five grad schools I applied to and the other four were more prestigious than the University of Denver and in much better locations for finding jobs in my field after graduation, DU (no, I don’t understand why their initials are backwards) offered me a great scholarship and the cost of living in Denver was the cheapest. So I came here with the intention of doing my year and a half and then moving right back to the east coast or more likely, back to the Eastern hemisphere.
I had a minor internal crisis at the thought of abandoning the east coast, even temporarily. My whole life I had been sure that as an adult I would never live anywhere in America other than one of the venerable east coast cities: New York, Boston, Philadelphia, or Washington DC. Everything else was vastly inferior in my mind. Oh sure, I could live in any podunk town in South Korea, Russia, or India – those places offered cultural experiences. But if I was going to live in America, it was to be in a real city. An intellectual city. And those just didn’t exist outside the northeast.
I got my MA in March 2010. Five years and one month later, here I still am, (another brag alert) living a charmed life and completely happy. I found my dream job here, the loves of my life (human and canine), and amazing friends. I live in the heart of this vibrant, beautiful city and take full advantage of the walkability/bikeability of my neighborhood – there are restaurants, bars, sporting events, gyms, galleries, concerts, parks, literary events, comedy clubs, whatever I want just steps from my front door. Yes, Denver is a real city and with less traffic or really, less need to drive at all. The gorgeous Rocky Mountains are just minutes away and we have 300 days of sun per year to camp, hike, and motorcycle in them. And while the lack of humidity leaves my skin and hair a bit lackluster, the total absence of mosquitoes makes summer evenings so much better than they ever were in New York.
Would this all have happened in a high-strung, workaholic, gray-all-winter, over taxed, over regulated east coast city? I don’t know, but I have serious doubts. Don’t get me wrong – I love, love, LOVE New York City and I don’t get to visit as often as I’d like. I still want to live there some day. Just for a little while, per Baz Lurhmann’s recommendation. But right now, Denver is really where it’s at.
Curious about what everyone else is writing for the A to Z Blog Challenge? Me too! I’m using a random number generator to select three blogs from my fellow contributors to read each day. Here are today’s discoveries: