I can hardly believe I have been in Bullhead City for six months already. Living here has been quite a challenge because of how different everything is from what I am used to in just about every way. I have experienced more culture shock living in Arizona than I did when I was in Asia…I think mostly because I was expecting it there and not in my own country. My life is much different here, my main focus now is on working as much as possible to save money. I am budtending in a dispensary and teaching three yoga classes a week. Besides working sometimes long hours and not having many days off, my life here is fairly simple and laid back. My mom is still taking good care of me and living with her makes my life much easier. One of my main intentions for my time in Bullhead has been to heal my broken heart after my breakup last year. I have certainly done a lot of growing and healing over the past six months and I feel much stronger, more confident and more comfortable with being single. But I would be lying if I said I was completely at peace with everything that happened and the way it all unfolded. The hurt still cuts just as deep as it did months ago and I sometimes wonder if it will ever go away. I still have good and bad days but the good days are thankfully much more frequent than the bad days because I make a conscious decision each morning to be happy no matter what. It doesn’t always pan out that way, but the intention is always there.
I do have some friends and a bit of a social life, but I sometimes struggle relating to the lifestyle and people here. They often look at me as though I am strange and/or fascinating because of the foods that I eat, the things I enjoy doing, my values and political beliefs.. I have fun with my friends here but I miss having relationships with people that are like-minded and that are passionate about the same things that I am. People who I can truly be myself around and be completely embraced for who I am in all my uniqueness. So there are still elements of loneliness and isolation to my life here, but it has been a good opportunity for me to spend some quality time with myself which is what I need most right now anyway.
When I left Denver last June, I was pretty set on the fact that I was not going to move back. I have lived my entire adult life in Denver and while it has been good to me, I have wanted to try living in other cities. I have always sort of gotten tied down by jobs, relationships, and just life in general. When I said my goodbyes in June, they felt to me to be very final which was much harder than I could have ever imagined. Throughout my experiences over the past nine months moving overseas and then to Arizona, I have realized more and more how much I love and appreciate the life that I had in Denver. It took me many years but I had built a very strong community around me, especially in the last two years through my involvement with the yoga community. I have never in my life embraced something or been embraced by like I was with the Denver yoga community. So many fellow teachers that I studied with and taught alongside became friends of mine as well as many of my loyal and loving students. It has been overwhelming and almost shocking to me how many of my students have reached out to me with so much love and support over the past nine months. I even managed to fill my spring yoga retreat with 18 amazing yogis while I wasn’t even living in the same state.
Being away has given me the opportunity to see things with fresh eyes. I feel as though I am falling in love with Denver all over again. Seeing things through a new lens that I either overlooked before or took for granted for so long. The things that I was fed up with about my life there seem so trivial now compared to the things that I love and miss so much. I can get past the cold winters, the traffic and the high cost of living. It’s more important that I can relate to the people in my experience and feel as though I am understood in a place where I fit in. One thing I love about that city is the open and accepting attitude of everything different. Moving to Denver provided me with the opportunity to meet many different circles of people as well as many different types of people. It has provided the experiences and relationships that have nurtured the expansion and openness of my mind and my heart and has helped mold the person I have grown into today.
Feeling like a foreigner in your own home certainly is no way to live. But the word “home” is relative anyway and as cheesy as it sounds, home truly is where the heart is. My heart is in Denver and since I left last June I have felt as though I am walking around with a piece of me missing. When I returned home for a week-long visit in March, I knew immediately that Denver is where I belong. It felt right being there and that week was by far the best week I’ve had since I left. And an incredibly perfect-in-every-way living situation just happened to fall into my lap…so I decided to give myself the permission to make the decision to go home, without any feelings of failure or giving up. I have learned so much over the past year and I don’t regret making any of the decisions I made. Even though it hasn’t been easy, I am carving out a pretty bad ass future and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for me. I’ll be in Arizona for a few months longer to save a little more money and hopefully do a little traveling before heading back home. But it feels so good to say that I will officially be back home by August 1st. I love you Denver…see you soon.