Local's Envy

Before I moved to Colorado, I used to sit in a fluorescent-lit cubicle in New York City reading Cowboys Are My Weakness on the sly and dreaming of the next ski trip I would take with my pack of girlfriends. The legend amongst our crowd was a bartender named Tim or Tom or something who'd saved up enough money to make a down payment on a piece of land in Montana. We all craved his focus and discipline.

Then the planets, and our vacation days, would suddenly align. The credit cards would come out. We'd book flights, call dibs on sleeping positions in a single hotel room, fly to Denver, pile into a rental car, and head up the hill. For four to seven glorious days we’d ski, sing bar songs, and get lost in the warm atmosphere of micro-brewed beer, cocktails, and cute guys. Wherever we were we'd tell the locals how insanely lucky they were to work in a ski town. My eyes would tear up when we drove back down I-70. Back to the "real" world. 

Having lived among the blessed mountain people now for nearly a decade, I can safely say that I've seen both sides of this particular coin. I've envied the locals with all my heart. And, as a local, I've envied the tourists as well. I've coveted your carefree vacation days. Your bliss-filled abandon as you cross against the light, putting your hand up to make sure I don't hit you. Your cushy offices and regular, year-round paychecks. Your home mail delivery. Dry driveways, garages, and suede shoes. Your ability to wear dresses and sandals in May and September. To plant a garden in June.

Yes, we are insanely lucky to have season passes. To be able to hike up a mountain whenever we want. To find a mirthful crowd at the local bar on any given night of the week. To cozy up to real wood fires. To awaken on quiet, snowy mornings to crisp mountain views. We are indeed lucky. But you're lucky too. And sometimes, behind your back, when you're not paying attention, we envy you.