Dear Denver

Hi, um hello.

It’s nice to meet you. Officially. It’s been almost a month now, that I’ve had my bed and clothes here. And roughly two weeks since I took up overnight residence.

I have to say, you’ve been more than I could have imagined.

You’ve been fun nights downtown, quiet nights at home, long days at a new job. You’ve been new friends and unexpected adventures. You’ve been familiar and unknown. You’ve been exhausting and exhilarating.

You see, Denver, you have been something brand new.

I feel like windows rolled down, new city, streets and cabs
I feel like anything can happen, laughing
You take me right back, when we were kids
Never thought I’d feel like this

Because you have almost nothing. Few memories, maybe most notably the airport and two Rockies games. You hold no painful places where love was found and lost. You hold no afternoon hikes or strolling aimlessly down the street. You hold no introductions to my people. You hold no tearful fights in the car.

Instead of a painful twinge at the sight of a restaurant or my old apartments or the bar where he broke my heart, I find myself curiously glancing around to understand my surroundings. I find myself wondering where the closest grocery store is or the best happy hour. I find myself day dreaming about the things to come, the things ahead. Excited at the anticipation.

Like when I close my eyes and don’t even care if anyone sees me dancing
Like I can fly, and don’t even think of touching the ground

But Denver, with the blank page and brand new, comes the ache of lonely. The knowing that 60 miles to the south are my people. New babies and beloved souls. Family and home and comfort. And I find myself wrestling through the draw back. To be known and loved and seen. But there’s this feeling — the movement of time and seasons and space. The feeling of being ready for now while loving the past. And I guess that means I’m a really lucky girl, because I have love and understanding and home and people. I have these things to stand behind me as I take tentative and terrified steps ahead, with a literal move of North. Of forward. Of new.

You’re not my home yet — But you’re well on your way.

Before I left Colorado Springs I tried to let go of the heavy things. I started to take the pieces of my past and set them down. I felt them break apart and fall away. I knew I needed to deal with them in the season where they began. I wanted to bring the best parts of who I grew into the last three years and let the other pieces blow away into the wind. I think maybe I wanted that too much — to forget the painful and the hard and the ugly parts. To pretend like they don’t haunt me sometimes. But the truth is, they’ve made me who I am. The hard and hurtful left their marks and I paid their price.

And grace comes in like a salve. It reminds me that I do not have to let those things define me but they are part of me. I don’t have to actively carry them into what the Lord has given me but they will always be etched on my heart. The men I loved. The people I believed the best about. The ways I experienced love in return. The community who surrounded me. And the lessons I learned.

Denver, I know I’m going to make mistakes while I’m here. In fact, I’ve already made a few. I know I’ll have more awkward dates and uncomfortable text messages. I’ll probably feel left out and wonder if everyone is hanging out without me. My feelings will probably get hurt and I’ll unintentionally tell a boy I smell like ham because I’m nervous. I’m sure I won’t get invited to a Halloween party or I’ll get left off an email chain. I know those things will happen.

I feel like a young John Cusack, like making big mistakes
I feel like for the first time in a long time I am not afraid

But I also know you’re going to have new community. You’re going to have first dates and first kisses. You’re going to have new love. You’re going to have “what? you too? I thought I was the only one!” moments. You’re going to have more yes-es. You’re going to have people and weddings and babies. You’re going to have questions and answers and more questions. You’re going to have my grocery store and my gas station. You’re going to have back roads and shortcuts. You’re going to have baseball games and Christmas parties. You’re going to have all the things and more. Because I’ve learned that life is what you make of it wherever you are. And Denver, I’ve decided you are worth putting everything on the line for.

Like a heartbeat skip, like an open page
Like a one way trip on an aeroplane
It’s the way that I feel when I’m with you, brand new

So dear one, I’m ready. Ready to dance and not care who is watching. Ready to open my heart. Ready to live life fully and completely and with my hands wide open.

I’m all in.

Love,

Rach

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