For years, I have never quite understood why my fabulous friends (resort-town locals, to be exact) were always so happy and full of life in spite of the fact that they may be living in tiny quarters, holding multiple jobs or more times than not, were flat broke.
I think I finally get it.
For so long, I’ve been holding onto a dream that at some point mid-night turned into a nightmare: the dream of home-ownership.
Home-ownership can be a nightmare.
I moved into my four bedroom Minnetonka home back in 1997 when I was giddy with anticipation of things to come. Recently married and expecting a large family, I became a Junior League member, tennis league player, black lab owner and dinner club participant. I was living the full-blown suburban dream, and I thought I loved it.
But when I got quiet, settled or bored, I realized I was not happy.
Flash forward 14 years.
I’ve since divorced, remained childless (except for the few boy-toys I’ve dated), relinquished ownership of my dog Scarlett, retired from the Junior League, traded in my tennis racquet for a new pair of skis and quit cooking (’cause cooking for one’s just no fun).
I changed jobs. I moved to NYC. I was flying from east coast to west coast, Canada to Texas and everywhere in between. I even ventured abroad several times for work and pleasure.
Yet, I ended up back in Aspen (after a 20 year hiatus) where my smile was biggest, my light shone brightest and my heart leapt highest.
My home as my security blanket.
The one constant through all these changes, though, was my security blanket known as my Minnesota home.
I tried selling it twice to no avail — for a variety of reasons. Honestly, I think I wasn’t really serious in those endeavors because I just wasn’t ready for change. I’d come and go, back and forth between my NYC or Aspen apartments. I had my fun when I was away.
With each homecoming, I’d catch up on Oprah, sleep for days on end, revisit my meditation tapes, get my Target fix and just prepare myself mentally for the next and nearest departure.
It was like my house had become an old, comfy bathrobe that enveloped me which each reentry. I’d exhale at the familiar sight.
But after being in Aspen for most of the last five years, I’ve noticed a shift. My time back in Minnesota was becoming shorter and shorter (an off-season thing) while the Colorado calling was becoming louder and louder.
There just comes a time when you’re good and ready to shed that soft bathrobe for some new digs.
Aspen is full of life.
This past year, I’ve spent a lot of time observing my Aspen friends from afar. And what I saw, I liked. Boy, they know how to live their life to the fullest.
There’s always a barbecue. There’s always a concert. There’s always a get-together at someone’s house. There’s always a friend calling to hook up for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or coffee…a hike, a book club, a movie, a concert…a run down the ski slope, a hike up a trail or a hula-hoop atop a peak.
Bottom line: Aspen offers me a sense of community. And a real, live community is exactly what I’m craving at this point in my life. What I know for sure is that thriving is most-definitely better than existing. And while my Minnesota home offers a comfortable and safe existence, it has served its purpose.
I get the sense I’ll rot here.
I have been led to believe that I should believe in a dream that just doesn’t fit me or my lifestyle. Now that I’m older and wiser, I no longer look outside myself for someone to define my normal and better yet, I’m proud of that fact.
It’s time to move on. Stopping the what-ifs and finally making a decision feels damn good.
Perhaps it took these past 10 years to get to this pivotal point in my life. I no longer waver in my decision to move towards a life I want vs. staying in a place that is safe.
I’ve begun preparing for my permanent return back to Colorado which, according to my gut check, is in Divine order. I’m filled with anticipation again.
But this time, I’m not going to allow a spouse, a boyfriend, a family member or a job take me off track and get in my way. I’m on a path to Colorado and that path to my destiny is etched in stone.
Letting go feels really good.
We want to hear from you.
Have you radically changed your life and/or your lifestyle to live a life on your terms? Are you sick of living someone else’s dream? Are you ready to break free from suburbia and move to a resort town? If so, what will it take to get you here?