This past weekend, I was in Richmond, Virginia. I went back to my alma matter, University of Richmond, and went to the annual Ring Dance celebration. It's such a special night because it celebrates all of the accomplishments of the junior-class women, and speaks of their dreams for the future. This year was particularly special for me because I was able to surprise my little, and all of my friends who are still students at Richmond.
It's funny how you don't realize how much you miss a place until you go back. Beforehand, I could feel myself getting a little homesick from Richmond since it had been so long since I had been in the city, and seen my friends at school. And believe me, I was smiling ear to ear when I was back on campus, running into friends, and old professors. And, it made me realize what a cool place Richmond is to live. When you're living on campus, it's hard to escape the "bubble." But, going to all my old, favorite restaurants I was reminded of the street art, the colorful rows of houses in the fan, oh and the incredible veggie options there. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to take many pictures around the city, but I'll be going back in a couple weeks and will make up for those pictures.
Anyway, when I went back to Richmond it felt like everything had changed, and yet, everything was still the same. It changed in the sense that there were new faces that I didn't recognize, new construction, but Richmond proper still had that old-southern charm with tradition and class, and yet also that forward-thinking, hipster vibe where startups continue to grow and breweries keep popping up.
It makes me think of myself: down-to-the-core New Englander, but also this Denver mentality where being outdoors, and living life in the present pushes me forward to continue to grow and change. Many people who graduate from Richmond stay on the East Coast, and when I caught up with people at Ring Dance, they kept saying to me, "how did you do it?" "what do you do there..." "your life looks fake." I think people forget that they have the power to choose what type of life they want to live. When I was searching for a job, I was determined to be back in Boston and look for a certain type of career I wanted, but I'm so incredibly happy that I took that risk and went for a 180 to Denver. I ended up finding myself, hobbies I love, a clearer mind for the type of career I want, and being out here has helped me see Denver, Boston, and Richmond in a new light.
I chose to live in a different city to experience something different. I wanted to work for a startup, and it didn't work. So I adapted, adjusted, and it led me to Patagonia, photography, and blogging. Sometimes it just takes someone (or a place like Richmond) to remind that person to open your eyes, and appreciate where you are, and where you are going. It was incredible to see everyone because I missed them dearly. And, it was a pleasure to be reminded that I am where I'm supposed to be: back in the DEN.