I miss this place. This blog makes me feel the most me. Whenever I’ve just finished writing a post, I feel like I’m floating on a current of energy, like I’m leaning into what makes me tick.
So I’ve been looking forward to making a return to write this for a while now. I’m sitting here on the calmest afternoon I’ve experienced in a month, sipping hours-old french press coffee (and it’s important that I tell you it’s french press because I have been a lazy, trashy Keurig coffee drinker for a while now and I’m very impressed at this new development in my life), and admiring all the summer-in-Denver that is happening just outside the window.
Today feels deeply good. Life feels deeply good.
And I can’t wait to tell you all about why.
These past few months, I…
1. Left Las Vegas richer than I arrived. (#47, long-term list)
Las Vegas was not a planned thing. One day I was not going to Las Vegas and had no reason to even think about going to Las Vegas, and the next day I had a plane ticket booked up for the weekend.
So Las Vegas happened. More specifically, Las Vegas happened to me.
I knew that leaving Las Vegas richer than I arrived was on my long-term bucket list, and I really, really wanted to cross that puppy off. So amidst all the eating, Lyfting, swimming in the pool, oggling at elaborate buildings and people, and *cough* drinking *cough* that went on, I made a point to hit up a casino.
Here’s the thing. I knew I would never win big. There’s no freakin’ way. Have you seen me? I trip up stairs. I’m not someone with the kind of luck to cash out with major bucks.
My game plan was this: put in a small amount of money, play a few rounds, and the very second I came out even a little bit ahead, I was getting out of there.
So I threw in five bucks. A few rounds of blackjack later, I was up 75 cents.
And I freakin. Cashed. Out.
Never mind that I lost 50 cents of that 75 playing the slot machines. I LEFT LAS VEGAS RICHER THAN I ARRIVED, MOTHA TRUCKAAAAS.
By 25 cents. Someone try and stop me. Maybe I’ll go buy a gum ball. Maybe I won’t. I’m limitless.
2. Headed to the rapids for some white water rafting. (#3, short-term list)
It’s not often you get the chance to throw your mortal body into some waves crashing into rocks and creating whirlpools of death just beneath the surface with only an inflatable raft (which is really just a glorified balloon, if you think about it) to protect you.
So when a group of almost 20 friends invites you along on a white water rafting trip they’ve been planning for the past year, you take the opportunity.
We drove up to Aspen and hooked up with a few guides who took us out for the ride of a lifetime. Not going to lie, there were a few times I looked at what we were about to traverse and thought there was no way I’d make it out alive.
But I did. And with nothing but pretty trees around you, a big sky above you, and good people beside you, it was a trip for the books. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
I’ve never felt more Colorado-ian than I did that day. I’m glad that places like this exist.
3. Went camping (#6, short-term list) and soaked in some hot springs. (#7, short-term list)
For my birthday, my friend Amber took me to Strawberry Park Hot Springs. Everyone had been telling us that these were the best hot springs the state had to offer, so we knew we had to try it out.
It was nighttime when we arrived, so when we first got out of the car we couldn’t see a thing. But after our eyes adjusted to the darkness, the moonlight was just enough to help us guide our way into the water.
Each pool at Strawberry Park Hot Springs was a different temperature, so you could start off piping hot and move down into lukewarm waters by the end of your time there. It was so relaxing and I can see how people use it as a kind of therapy.
Afterwards, we set up camp nearby and passed out cold in our tent for the night. It wasn’t our first time camping that summer and it wasn’t even our first time camping together – Amber and I had done another trip in July that was super fun too, and I also went camping another time with a good group of folks. There’s something about waking up in the mountains that feels pretty dang cool.
4. Started doing one act of kindness every day for a year. (#12, short-term list; #18, long-term list)
Since I’d finally finished on my endeavor to take a 1 second video every day for a year, I knew I was ready to start up a new daily task. This time I set out to commit one act of kindness every day for a year.
To be honest, this challenge is going to be hard for me. I started it on my birthday but then forgot to do an act of kindness a few days later, so I had to start over. It’s also been hard for me to parse out what I’m doing for the sake of the goal and what I’m just doing in my every day life that I’m attributing to the goal. Let me explain.
For example, the other day I did something I thought was nice, and I said to myself afterwards, “Hey! That will be my random act of kindness for the day.” But is that the point? Is the point to pick out what I’m already doing that’s kind? Or is it to add more kindness to my life?
I think it’s supposed to be the latter. So on days when I’m feeling lazy and I want to attribute something I did that day to the goal when in actuality I would’ve done it anyway, I need to like, not do that.
Hold me accountable, friends.
5. Started creating a community here in Denver. (#9, short-term list)
Anyone who has moved to a new city where they didn’t know anybody can probably relate to the worries that come with making a new network of friends. I’m lucky to be in a city where it feels like nearly everyone is a transplant, and everyone is looking for a new pal to add to their gang – so I feel like I’m not lacking in social contact at all. It’s also been nice to move into a house with a bunch of girls who are super sweet, funny, and real about life. That’s giving me a lot of hope for what’s ahead. I wouldn’t say I’m there yet, and I didn’t expect myself to have community by now. But the people around me these days are nice and friendly and filling me up with great things, and that makes me excited.
6. Did lots of other stuff!
In addition to what’s above, I also ate at Casa Bonita (#4, short-term list), took in the gorgeous views at Rocky Mountain National Park (#5, short-term list), and visited Garden of the Gods (#10, short-term list). But this post is already super long, so I’ll cut it off here. Ask me about those adventures sometime!
What have you been doing lately to check items off your bucket list? What’s next on the agenda? Any advice for building community in a new place?