It’s interesting how an experience in a foreign country can affirm a choice you made at home and help you realize you really did choose correctly.
I just recently returned from a two week vacation in Scotland and after the majority of those 14 days spent in Skye and lowly populated areas, being dropped into Edinburgh for the final five days was a very unwelcome shock. In the midst of the bustling traffic, congested crowds and dodging busses on busy streets I knew that environment wasn’t where I’d be content. Even though Loveland had beckoned me with visions of adventure, I don’t believe I’d truly have been myself in the city. Sure, I’d have had fun and taken every opportunity of a place where you can shop and there are shows to see, etc., but it would have worn off. Very quickly. That my slightly boring, no stop-light town where local activities include benefit dinners at the American Legion and life moves at a much slower pace is where I can stay me to the truest sense.
As I drove homeward through Colorado after flying into DIA, a slight melancholy descended as I zoomed up the interstate through Loveland/Fort Collins. This was my dream. I was going to live here nestled at the foot of those mountains, exploring the reservoirs and local running paths, taking part of the artistic and musical culture. Even though I have something so much better, it’s still hard to let go of what you’ve been planning and dreaming about.
Choices. We face them every day of our lives, every minute of every day. What will we decide to do? What will we stand by? If we knowingly make the wrong choices just because we can, what amazing blessings are we missing?
This thought passed through my mind at a bonfire this past weekend after a day of branding calves. Across the fire was a friend I’d wanted to date for nearly four years. He had seemed like the guy I wanted to spend the rest of my time with. We always had fun, had so many similarities and always enjoyed being in each others’ company. But there were also so many differences, many of them irreconcilable and even though it always broke my heart, I stood by my decision that dating him would never work. And after holding to my choice, everything fell into place with the absolute perfect Man of my Dreams.
And on Saturday night under an enormous sky illuminated by billions of sparkling stars, sitting on a pickup tailgate with my Cowboy’s arm around me, the knowledge I was where I needed to be was solidified even further. The mountains of Colorado faded a little more into the distance behind the campfire sparking into the sky, the sound of frogs as they began their chorus over the sound of someone’s radio playing a country song, laughter of friends listening to a story being spun, and the feel of a gentle kiss on the tip of one ear. This wide open middle of nowhere is my home. This is where I belong.
With no traffic, no people, no pollution or noise. Just the beauty of the land and staying in the arms of an amazing man. This is my next adventure. And Scotland helped remind me of that.