Signing in for the long haul September 17, 2012Posted by paulstella in Uncategorized.
The old-timer on duty at the Welcome Center’s information desk was happy to greet me. “What brings you to Colorado?” he asked.
“I’m starting my new life as a Colorado resident,” I said proudly.
“Wonderful!” the volunteer replied, and then he directed my attention to the guest book at his side. “Let’s tell the governor.”
He said this without an ounce of sarcasm, so I couldn’t help but oblige. I doubted the governor of Colorado spent much time thumbing through the state’s various registries. And, as I signed in, I wondered, “What kind of new resident am I anyway?” After all, I didn’t even know ‘my’ governor’s name.
The visit to the Welcome Center became the final pit stop on my 3-day journey across much of America. I left Rochester around midday Friday, but not before one final walk-through of my beloved suburban house—my sanctuary for more than eight years. Standing in the sunroom, overlooking the backyard, I lamented over what I was leaving behind. In that moment, I allowed the emotion to overtake me.
But in boarding my car and beginning the trip westward, I found my thoughts transitioning forward, and my excitement mounting. New opportunities, new relationships and a whole new way of life await me. And along the way, the beauty of the American landscape helped to frame my reflections. My spirits soared!
I have since arrived at my destination. Although in my new apartment, I have few possessions close at hand. The rest of my things are likely a week or more behind me. Until then, sparse living conditions will certainly prove challenging.
Thankfully, I begin my employment with the University of Colorado Boulder today. I will direct a lot of energy getting accustomed to my job, getting acquainted with my colleagues and getting familiar with the campus culture. I’m excited to get underway.
I will always remember how my Colorado story got started at that Welcome Center. And after pulling away, as my car zoomed along I-76, it wasn’t long before the Rocky Mountains began taking shape in the distance. The intensity of what I can only describe as their ‘pull’ enthralled me.
I knew then I was arriving home.