What a week. I don’t even know where to begin, because honestly, it’s a lot harder to reflect back on one of the best weeks of my life than I had hoped it would be.
That’s right, kids. Hands down, without a doubt, easily one of the best weeks of my life.
First off, whoever said that the Wild West was “over” is wrong. It is booming with so many people and so much culture that I couldn’t even keep up. The revolution of young people that have stormed through the town of Jackson is wild. They are everywhere, they are welcoming, and they are kind. The love that they have for their environment and the tourists that frequent the bi-seasonal resort is unreal, and that’s coming from a girl who has lived in a big time resort town since I was born.
Up until about 6 months ago, I had sworn off meat for the second time in my life. Aside from the cruelty to animals that plagues every YouTube clip that I seem to come across, the texture and taste of meat had me just about sick to my stomach after every meal. Something just isn’t right with certain meats… maybe it’s the meat itself or the grade that I had to choose from, or even the butcher shop that it was coming from. Out west, they have perfected it. Most of their meat isn’t coming from big time meat producers but rather real, free-range farms, the meat is entirely different. So yes, I ate meat in Jackson. And I loved every single bite of it.
Now yes, let’s get to the real stuff. No, no, not the amazing time that I had with Stephen and Sean (I’m with Stephen, Sean’s a friend, just to clarify there was no 3rd wheel and/or menage trois type situation happening), but the MOUNTAIN. (And just a side note, I did have an amazing time with them both. I found a great friend in Sean and fell deeper in love with Stephen. I guess the wilderness and a fireplace will do that to you).
So, Jackson Hole isn’t just another mountain. I understand that some feel that Breckenridge, Tahoe, Steamboat, AK, etc are better and more exciting (okay, I can’t vouch for AK, we’ll leave that vote to Seth, Sage, and Jeremy), but from what I could see… Jackson Hole is mecca. People travel from all over the country and the world to ski there. All ages, all levels, all styles, all people. It was amazing. Little kids were shredding powder harder than adults. Ski instructors looked like Olympians. Lift operators were… well, lift operators, but they made it look even better than your average lift operational mountain. And the tram. I mean, 100 people jam pack into a little car attached to a cable pulley and are whisked away to the top of the mountain while ‘Crazy Train’ plays in the background. Too chicken to go down? It’s cool. You can ride the tram back down. 🙂 Me, being terrified of both heights and falling (not so much me, it’s the idea of things/people around me falling) never made it up to the top of the tram. (I am, however, engaging in a highly intensive program to get over my fear of heights. Enough is enough, girl’s gotta live.)
Okay, so outside of the amazing culture, the beautiful views, the food, the shredding of the powder on my snowboard, and my fear of heights… I learned more things about myself this past week than I ever could have imagine.
For starters, I learned that heights aren’t the only thing that scares me. The future, the endless possibilities of ‘what comes next’, the immensity of someone else’s love. The realness of putting yourself out there and the emotional attachment that comes with location… I deeply feel in the fibers of my being that a part of me was found in Jackson. A part of me that needed to be reawakened by those catalyzing factors. When all things combined, boom, there she is. There I was, here I am, forever there I will be. I’ve come back changed. No, I didn’t go to war. I didn’t see a wonder of the world, I didn’t even leave the continent. But I am different, I am better. I feel stronger, I feel braver, I feel loved. I feel whole again. And I never want this feeling to go away.