Happy New Year!!!! It’s been a while, huh?
An entire season in fact. Last I wrote I had just returned from the green green green of my previous life, back to the land of many unknowns. But time away provided perspective and I had a plan. One year. Outstretched arms, palms up, heart open.
So here is how it’s been going.
New determination to see my circumstances differently were conveniently accompanied by the beautiful backdrop of fall. Summer faded away and gold pinion pine illuminated the bright blue crisp apple skies. It was somewhere around then that I discovered the magic of the Santa Fe Farmers Market; all the rich variety of Union Square, but a little softer, and the permission to walk more slowly. But perhaps the real turning point: fire roasted green chillies. OH. MY. GOD. I would drive the hour and 20 minutes twice a week just to smell the intoxicating aroma tumbling through the large metal cage barrels. Something about it all reminded me of India, Manhattan, and New England all at once. The combination of vibrant colors, palo santo, and rugged smiles made it hard for contentment to not slowly seep into my softening walls.
Snow shocked all of us in early October – and there have had at least a dozen snow storms since then. I love it! The Sangre de Cristos wear beautiful white lace covered hats and this Buffalo girl will always and forever love a gray snuggly snow day. Meanwhile, acquaintances are growing and neighbors (and by neighbors I mean those that live between 3 and 25 miles down the road) are rapidly turning into legit friends. This has a been the nicest surprise so far. Maybe with everything from grocery stores to restaurants being so far away, you enjoy spending time with the people around you a bit more. Back in Brooklyn, friends were technically not that far, but getting there, getting back, scheduling, and schlepping all amidst the hustle of just trying to get through your normal day – it all felt so exhausting that I often just craved being alone. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my alone time (I’m living in the right place for that now!) but spending time with others doesn’t feel as exhausting as it used to. Neighbors out here means you share a meal at someones house vs meeting out, or you really just do stop in for a chat and cup of coffee. This year we spent a whole afternoon driving around in our neighbor’s pick up truck “hunting” for Christmas trees. Every now and then I would stop and wonder how I was closer to people I met 5 months ago than I was to neighbors whom lived 10 feet away for years.
Another fun thing – all the visitors! Another thing I used to loath when living in NYC! Ok, not loath, but I was definitely that person that gave you my keys and said see you tomorrow night for dinner! Now I get excited about all the beautiful places I can take my friends (HOT SPRINGS!) and genuinely get excited to just spend time together.
And lest you think I am simply spending my days soaking in the charms of New Mexico living – work has been picking up too. The buildings at Valmora are rapidly transforming into living breathing abodes of possibility. The dining hall, yoga studio and half of the residence areas have been gutted. Architectural plans have been made and renovations are underway. There are crews to supervise, master plans to organize, flooring and fixtures to choose, tours to give, networking dinners to have, and did I mention we are opening a coffee shop up the road as well? Yes, in the little tiny town of Watrous, New Mexico ( 3 miles up the road from Valmora) we are opening a coffee shop with the help of Santa Fe roasters Iconik. So yeah…it’s busy!
But thankfully not so busy that I haven’t found time to bring yoga teaching back into my life (YAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!). After subbing for an angel of a friend at a studio in Santa Fe, those classes turned into permanent class offers and as of December, I am teaching my own classes again. To say that piece of the puzzle is integral to feeling my feet on the ground again would be an understatement. I still have a ways to go in figuring out my true course out here, but some fun side projects have popped up in the meantime. My favorite: exchanging private yoga lessons for private horseback riding lessons 🙌🏼
Family came to visit for Thanksgiving, and further pushing the boundaries of who I thought I was (a cat person) to whom I might actually be becoming (a cat and dog person), little Freddie Fox Mercury showed up on our doorstep, quite literally. He might have tricked me into thinking he was a cat in a dog’s body, but he’s definitely a part of our family now – and getting a little more comfortable in his new surroundings everyday (just like his momma – yup, I’m one of those people that has anthropomorphized their dog).
As we ring in the new year, there is even more snow and a growing sense of direction I didn’t feel when I first got here. Brad’s leg is almost healed and the two of us are navigating the tricky balance between life partner and work partner better and better. There are still bumps (currently: the water pipes are frozen!) and I’m still committed to my one year reevaluation. But things overall have definitely been smoother, allowing for panic to subside and the unknown to feel not so terrifying (imagine that!). I’ve wondered a few times in the past 4 months why I didn’t write more. I realized it’s a bit like reaching out to my friends – when there is a crisis or something to complain about, there is a lot more to say. A resolution for my new year is to shift that tendency. Writing, talking, sharing about what’s good doesn’t have to equal bragging. Sympathy doesn’t have to equal value. I want to challenge myself to share with you the whole picture, as honestly as I can. So more soon. Until then – hoping the new year brings you greater ease in what you know and what you don’t. And in the words of C.S. Lewis, “remember you are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”.