I’m inspired throughout the day to write thoughtful and considerate posts. But by the time I get home, I’m exhausted. I conquered the majority of this week’s homework on Monday and dedicated this afternoon to chilling, but nonetheless found myself doing laundry, dishes and taking out the trash. Sometimes it’s all I can do to force myself to relax.

So here I am, thinking about this year and how there’s only 6 weeks left. They say time flies as you grow older, and this year was no exception. First we got engaged and planned a wedding and everything that comes along with it–the engagement party, bachelor/bachlorette parties, bridal shower, and rehearsal dinner. Then we mosied to Bonnaroo, found a house in Colorado, moved and landed some jobs. Sometimes it blows my mind when I think about how we got from Point A to Point B so quickly with minimal problems. Is this really my life?

I find myself constantly comparing the two: Tennessee and Colorado, the past and the present, the old and the new.

Tennessee:

The good-

Authentic Friends

Family

Thriving music scene

Soul food

A general sense of familiarity

House parties

Wineries

Manners

The bad-

Rednecks

Honkytonk

Republicans and Conservatives

Religious fanatics

Crazy people with guns

Crime

Bad traffic

Humidity

Colorado:Β 

The good-

Job opportunities

Scenery

Outdoor activities

Arid climate

Consistent sunny weather

People that only use the left lane to pass

Higher speed limits

Progressive thinkers

Breweries

Dog-friendly establishments everywhere

Bike paths and sidewalks

An overall sense of safety

The bad-

White privilege

Crowded grocery stores

Lack of cultural diversity

Boring people

Surface-level friendships (which take awhile to develop but still…)

Shitty local bands

No rap music

If I had to capture a brief synopsis of the major differences I’ve noticed so far, that would be it. There’s things I miss about Tennessee and reasons why I love it out here.

I was awfully homesick a few weeks ago, and then the terrorist attacks in Paris lead many back home to post the most racist, insensitive remarks I’ve read in awhile. And it’s usually the self-proclaimed Christians insisting we shouldn’t accept refugees from other countries, despite their dire and dangerous circumstances in Syria. Nothing will snap you back to reality like remembering why you left in the first place. Thanks Facebook.

In all seriousness, it’s fascinating to study immigration patterns and the historical context of immigration in my cultural diversity course, in the midst of global unrest. People of the Earth have migrated for thousands of years and will continue to do so whether we like it or not. So to all those right-wing radicals, I say get over it.Β 

What initially caught my eye about the Paris attacks were reports of a hostage situation at the Eagles of Death Metal concert. I listened to them religiously at MTSU, so I was truly in disbelief. I’m glad Deftones and EODM made it out safely with the exception of a merch guy, but the idea that a terrorist attack could strike at a show terrified me. The news made me feel vulnerable.

But even despite my feelings of uneasiness, I welcome immigrants to our country. It would be foolish not to.

On a lighter note, we spent another weekend in Rocky Mountain National Park. Saturday marked my first legit snow hike. We strolled with excitement and trepidation across a frozen lake, stumbled into foot-high-snow-drifts and arrived at Dream Lake with a sense of triumph. My feet were cold and wet in these supposed leather boots I wore, but I was determined to get snow boots ASAP.

I went shopping on Monday for the first time in months. My water-proof Rockports ought to keep me warm and dry. And it’s nice to have an H&M in Fort Collins–something I will never take for granted.

 

In honor of Tool announcing their upcoming tour, here’s a few tracks from my favorite band of all time. (besides Radiohead and Flaming Lips, but that’s a whole nother story)