Well, here I go! Three full days to go…then I’m off! Off to the beautiful Emerald City. Seattle, Washington. I do not think I have ever been more nervous, but also more excited for anything in my life. I am very happy to be going with somewhat of a plan, but I know I am leaving so much behind.
This post is dedicated to the beautiful Bozeman, Montana. Bozeman is where I grew up, traveled away from, but then came back to and found a new appreciation for the incredible city. It is the place where I found out who I am and who I hope to continue to be in the year’s to come. I am going to take the next few paragraphs to share with you, my lovely readers, why Bozeman will always have a special place in my heart.
- It was my first home. My family raised us in the friendly, small community of Bozeman from day one. We went to elementary school, middle school, and high school; found our friends; our church; and our love of the outdoors. I do not think I ever truly appreciated these parts of my life, until moving from Colorado back to Montana in 2012. I began working for The Round House Ski and Sports Center. This gave me a new group of friends, showed me how AWESOME mountain biking is, and shaped my future career within the outdoor industry.
The cold winters and mild summers will be missed. The 16 miles to Bridger Bowl Ski Area commute will be missed. The short bike ride to work will be missed. The small “old town” feel of downtown will be missed. And the 360 degree view of four different mountain ranges will be missed!
- I found my best friends. Moving back to Bozeman was one of the hardest things for me to get through. I was so immersed in my community in Greeley, Colorado, that I did not want to even try to give Bozeman a chance. My heart soon softened and I met some incredible people. Once again, The Round House introduced me to Myles Keating, an incredibly joyful, friendly, and all around great guy. A few months later, Myles introduced me to his girlfriend and now my closest friend and roommate, Sarah Tuma. Sarah is a spirited Californian who has challenged me both in our friendship and in my relationship with God. Sarah and I have had mountain top highs and been at the lowest of lows together. I am so thankful for her friendship. These two friendships soon introduced me to my boyfriend, Jonny Durst. Jonny is a ridiculously talented filmer and editor. He shares my passions of good movies, coffee, beer, family time, and being outside. He challenges me to pause in this busy life and take a breath every once in a while. He has also so graciously agreed to visit me in Seattle as much as he can. What a guy!
Throughout my time here, I have also met many wonderful and strong women. Calina Hall, Lauren Jarosz, and Erin Deleissegues. Calina Hall has become my Bozeman twin-similar clothing style (and same size!), blonde hair, same mountain bike, and the same adventurous hobbies. She and I have had numerous heart to hearts. Calina is honest with me, but never to the point of being rude. She is never afraid to go on any adventure with me either, even if it means driving down to Salt Lake City. I am going to miss my favorite blonde twin.
I have met some very respectful, kind, and adventurous guys. Ryan Corbett, Patrick Rooney, and Justin Hardine. There are so many others I have not included, but I am incredibly thankful for each and every one of the friends and relationships I have created while residing in Bozeman. Ryan, an incredible guy that has challenged me in my faith, while also being willing to grab a beer wherever and whenever while we have a heart to heart. Patrick, an adventurous guy that has been through more experiences with me in my time in Bozeman than many of my friends. And Justin, a guy that has pushed me in the professional world as well as in the mountain biking world. I owe much of my love of mountain biking to Justin!
- I found my home within a church family. Fresh Life Church has helped shape my life for almost three years now. This church brought me back to my faith and gave me a new fire within me to share my beliefs with others. Fresh Life has also helped reroute many of the decisions I have made in my life…decisions that have slowly molded me into the person I am today. I will miss my church and my church family, but am so excited to find a new church family in Seattle!
- Family. Family has been the most influential part of Bozeman. After graduating from college, my parents became my friends. I am sure many of my friends (and readers) would say the same. Parents begin to trust you and understand that you are an adult, someone who can make their own decisions. Fortunately, my parents were also always there to help me pick up the pieces of faulty decisions or spot me money when I am running short. My family will always be my best friends. They know me best. I am thankful that we can all sit down and drink a beer together, play a game, watch a movie, chat for hours (sister chats on the phone last for forever), workout together, shop together, spend time outside together, and share a tandem (thanks mom and dad).
I am so grateful that my dad hired me to work for him last year. It was awesome being able to get a peek into the life that he lives and see how he has created such a successful business. It is truly inspiring! I will miss our time spent together and the flexibility of the schedule! My dad is also ALWAYS (seriously ALWAYS) there when I am in a pickle. I cannot even count the number of times that he lent out his new truck when my little Subaru was not working. He helped me change my oil, rotate my tires, install a new battery, came and fixed our heat in our house, and so many more things that I would not have been able to do on my own. He is so generous with his time and I am appreciative of that.
My mom has become the person I go to before anyone else. She knows me the best…she knows when I am irritated, happy, overly excited, or acting completely out of line. She handles my drama well and with a smile (most of the time). My mom is also very generous with her time and her money. We go out for lunch or coffee quite often, she bought me a new down comforter when our house was freezing, helped me (along with my dad) pack up and move five times in the past five years, and she LOVES having my friends over for dinner. My mom is an amazing cook and enjoys hosting dinner parties in order to spend time with my friends and me. I will miss our quality time, dates, face to face conversations, and the surprise breakfasts out on the desk at Potts Drilling.
Even though my brother and sister have been in Washington for a majority of the time that I have been in Bozeman, I still feel closer to them than I ever have. A lot of this has to do with social media (I know some of you hate me for saying this). I am thankful for Facebook, texting, Instagram, and Snapchat. These apps help me stay in contact with my siblings living miles and miles away. We can chat about important things, send silly photos, post sentimental photos, or have multiple hour long conversations about how our lives are going. They say that “distance makes the heart grow fonder.” In my life, this phrase is true. However, I am anxious to move to Seattle and bike with my brother and LIVE with my sister! I know that our friendship can only get stronger by being close to one another. Hopefully my little brother will not be far away either.
Thank you to each person that I have come into contact with and developed a friendship with in Bozeman. You have each inspired me in so many different ways. I will have life long memories and stories to share about the past five years of my life. 22-27 has been so good. Here’s to you, Bozeman. Thank YOU!