I woke up this morning to a sight I haven't seen since December of 2005: a fresh, 8-inch coat of powder outside my window (we don't get more than half an inch of snow at our Albuquerque valley home, and even though you'd expect Switzerland to be thoroughly blanketed with snow in the winter months, we rarely saw much in the lakeside city of Lausanne, or really in any of the countryside towns). As I watched the graceful sheets of soft, white snowflakes making their way earthbound from the grey expanse of clouds above, I was filled with a sense of wonder and excitement. Winter is here!
Already equipped with my cold weather accoutrements - i.e., a space heater and heated blanket - to keep my room extra cozy, a kitchen stocked to the brim with the necessities (including my new Vitamix (thanks Mom and Dad for the early birthday present), which officially makes me the bougiest intern to ever walk this planet), and winter clothes, I am ready for the winter life that beckons. I even got to shovel snow off the front deck before heading out for coffee with my new boss. Though I am sure I might not approach the quotidian task of snow shoveling with such excitement in the coming few months, I hope I never lose sight of the joy I hold today in exchange for begrudgingly entering the arctic temperatures outside. As of now, there is a world of adventure waiting for me out there...once I get accustomed to the altitude, which I'm sad to admit makes the climb up the stairs to my apartment difficult for someone who graduated from "Stepperdine" and climbed at least 150 stairs to class each day...
I still cannot get over how incredibly perfect this opportunity is. What began as a 5-year volunteer position at a local therapeutic riding center to which my family had donated our horse, paired with a few summers and winters visiting my sister at Aspen Camp for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing set the stage for what would become my first (real) post-grad job, despite its nature as an internship. Combine my background with my passion for the outdoors, photography, and helping people, and you've got a recipe for the best winter adventure possible!
Meeting with my boss for a quick introduction to my position over coffee this morning only made me more excited for the coming season of subzero temperatures. So many opportunities await me on the mountain and in the company of incredible people with equally incredible stories. My heart is already so full with the promises of this season: the many days of skiing, the community of people committed to others' wellbeing, learning new skills for the years to come, dogs every single day at the office, the true alpine experience Switzerland never gave me (I promise I'm not bitter!), living with 5 others who have the same passion for helping people, and the small town feel of Crested Butte (hello, Pepperdine on steroids)! I can only imagine the many treasures I'll uncover along the way.
As for now, I am holding onto the excitement of fresh fallen snow outside my window and an office right at the base of the mountain, and am trying to be purposeful in taking each day of this new experience with fresh eyes and an enthusiastic heart. After all, it is the start of something new, so we can cue the High School Musical song, because it's only appropriate with this mountainous background.