Hating football has been my thing for the past eight years. Kind of like not having ridden a bike for the past 22 years was my thing; they both have been good stories to tell at parties, both things that I thought were part of my identity. Made me feel unique–especially in Colorado where cycling is a thing for so many people. I was the girl who hadn’t ridden a bike in a long time. I was the girl who hated football.
I then rode a bike. It wasn’t graceful, I swerved off the path a few too many times and had issues braking when I wanted to brake. It was harder than I thought it would be but also went a lot smoother than I expected and suddenly I’ve found myself wanting to get a bike. I really enjoyed biking! But now I can no longer say I haven’t ridden a bike in 22 years. It’s no longer my thing.
I haven’t always hated football. I can’t say I’ve ever really understood football but my dislike for football didn’t really start until I was in a relationship with a boy who had…well, a passion for football. Who wouldn’t let me talk to him while his team was on the TV, who would be in a bad mood all day because more than likely that team had lost. I grew to resent the sport.
And suddenly it became my thing. I hated football. I didn’t want to watch it, unless it was the super bowl, and I refused to learn anything more about it because I was supposed to hate it. It was my MO.
But this years football season started and I found myself watching the Broncos games. Not only was I watching it, I was actually…liking it. I was rooting for a team, the first football team that I’ve latched onto as my own and…I no longer hate football.
NOW WHO AM I? I’m no longer the girl who hasn’t ridden a bike. I’ve joined the Coloradoans in their love of biking. And now I’m no longer the girl who hates football. I’m now a Broncos fan. I’m calling this a bit of an identity crisis and a bit of finally, FINALLY, embracing Colorado as my home.
Much like my holding on to these stories about biking and hating football, I have held onto the “I’m from New York City” story. That’s not to say that I’m not from there, because I still am, but I was holding onto NYC as my home therefore not making room to make Boulder and Colorado my home. I’ve always felt that I would eventually leave so why would I want to embrace something that was only going to be temporary? I have been resisting Boulder, been resisting to make this place home as soon as the initial high of moving here subsided. Hell, up until recently I was still thinking I was going to leave. I’ve made other such decisions and it was a decision to stay in Colorado that felt like the best, the most right decision. One of those gut things that happened while driving through town. Once I realized what I wanted to do, where I wanted to live and that I wanted to stay here, I subconsciously let go of whatever was holding me back from fully loving Colorado.
I was running trying to clear my mind along the tree lined streets in my neighborhood, trees that are in the process of turning brilliant gold, and realized that my adoption of the Broncos as my team, that my new love of biking, my new snobbery towards beer (the girl who once hated beer, you know–another one of my things, now likes mainly craft beer. Raspberry wheats, graham cracker porters, all locally made beers), my new workout regiment…all this has been 2012′s summer hard at work transforming me from a New Yorker to a Coloradoan. Surprising how these things just kind of sneak up on you.
But don’t worry, I’m not about to wear plaid any time soon or rock climb. I may not be sashaying about in my four inch heels as much as I used to but I’ve come to accept that I don’t have to get rid of the New York side of me to live here. I can still be that person but I can also be a Coloradoan. It took me nearly three years to embrace this beautiful, mountainous state, but here I am. Hugging it tightly.
What defines you? And what would happen if it suddenly didn’t anymore?