A Taste of Fort Collins (so far)



I’ve finally made it to my dream city after years of unhopeful wishing. I’d always pictured myself in my twenties biking the streets of Oldtown on a yellow cruiser and savoring the fresh tastes and smells its streets had to offer. I imagined attending CSU and meeting fun college friends, staying up late at night, being a singer in a band. It truly was a dream destination; the sun was always shining and my soul felt exhilarated whenever I visited. As a young spirit, I couldn’t think of anyplace else I’d rather be.

I would have never believed I could do it at such a young age—although I feel decades older than my real age. No one else who knows me would have believed I could do it either, especially since it isn’t for the purpose of attending the University. I didn’t move to Colorado for the privilege of getting high on marijuana, either, believe it or not. My move was, however, based on educational purposes as well as the use of herbs: I am attending the first year of Equinox School of Herbal Studies to become a certified herbalist. There happens to be more than one type of herb, and I am fascinated by all the wonders medicinal plants can provide for us. The third reason why I moved to FoCo is because I was able to transfer my job at Starbucks at exactly this time (after six months of being a partner).

I haven’t yet begun the herbal program and I’ve only lived here for four days. So far, the reality of living in Fort Collins is much different than the images I had floating around in my mind. So far, I can only express how Fort Collins has been an endless stream of noisy cars backing up traffic and an endless stream of whiny customers waiting to get their coffee. My new Starbucks store doesn’t own a Clover machine OR reserve coffee, so the coffee options are much less exotic for my personal tastes. But I suppose the city itself contains enough exoticness to go around and make up for the lack of Starbucks Reserve stores.

With all the obstacles of moving into my first apartment and feeling on edge with my first roommate, I haven’t had much time to delve into the spicy flavors of Fort Collins just yet… well, except for last night’s dinner at Star of India, my favorite Indian restaurant in town that I happen to be within walking distance of. I’ve discovered that it takes much time and persistence in living someplace to be exposed to all its magic, but since I’m on the lookout for those mystical aspects, I’ve been able to spot a few.

Within these four days, I have driven to work just early enough to catch the glowing orange sunrise peeking through purple clouds. Once on my way to the garage at 6:20am, I met my adorable elderly neighbor who’d gone out the get the newspaper while it seemed to me no one would be moving at a time before there was any light in the sky. I was feeling hesitant about singing in my car although it is an almost uncontrollable passion when I pulled up into the parking lot of Trader Joe’s and began rolling up the window as a gray-haired woman with her windows also rolled down blasted opera music loudly and sang along shamelessly. She even turned towards me to make sure I was listening, and she didn’t turn off her car until the song was finished.

I still encounter people I recognize from Cheyenne, just not as consistently. I’m beginning to experience inspiring moments from strangers, whereas before, I thought that constantly seeing everyone I knew was the most magical thing. The customers have called me by my name more often within my two days of work here than they ever did in Cheyenne, which is kind of magical. It makes me feel welcome to something new, rather than being to one to welcome new people to my hometown like I used to.

Today, a woman came in and asked me for a cup of ice without first going to the register. She wore an expression of pain on her face and told me she’d just had a tooth extracted. She smiled kindly and said with a serious look in her eyes, “You’re my guardian angel today.” Shortly afterward, I did see someone I knew from Cheyenne! Two Starbucks regulars, in fact. They were just as happy to see me as I was to see them.

I’ve always managed to find remnants of home everyplace I go. It’s bittersweet leave everyone and everything I used to see everyday for a temporary amount of time, but I’m confident that I will become just as much of a socialite here as I was in Cheyenne. A bigger city paves the way to bigger opportunities, after all. As long as I’m able to survive the traffic, anything is possible. 

truth behind coincidence

truth behind coincidence

“I don’t understand what it is,” I kept complaining (though I’m sure I sounded grateful) to everyone who would at least not think I’m completely crazy. “I don’t understand why these ‘coincidences’ occur all the time. Anything that I say– or even think about subconsciously for two seconds– happens.” And then I would elaborate, and receive the general response:

“Wow, that is strange. You should start thinking about me winning the lottery.”

It was rare to receive a genuine answer, and I desperately wanted one. Of course, I’m a master at creating my own hypotheses, regardless of whether or not they are logical. So, naturally, I formed a partially logical conclusion: it was karma. It was because of those inspirational anonymous acts of kindness the short-lived “change the world” movement I was a part of last summer worked so hard to achieve. Our acts were so random that the universe had to really think hard to compete with us, but as far as I knew I was the only one receiving such constant synchronistic signs. Or was that just because I was more aware and accepting of these mysteries? I had also come to the conclusion that these occurrences weren’t simply mysterious coincidences; they were miracles.

Still, I refused to acknowledge my own underlying beliefs about the origins of miracles because my beliefs had been challenged in more ways than I could accommodate for in the past few years.

It wasn’t until my former best friend called me in college (which was also a spontaneous miracle because I had been wishing I could call her just seconds before) that I received an answer. A real, confident, non-sarcastic answer that I would have never pictured her saying– or even thinking– in person, and especially not over the phone. Yet her voice was assuring, not in the least way awkward, and not in the least way like her to say. Her life didn’t reflect those words. Her mother would certainly never believe she told me this. I wouldn’t have ever believed she would tell me this after I rambled on about all these strangely inconceivable miraculous happenings, but she did:

“You know, God works in mysterious ways and I think he’s on your side forever.”

I was speechless. Yes, I wanted to say, You are completely right. At this moment, my perspective of my own friend I felt I knew as a sister flipped a one-eighty. She was so much wiser than me, although she had always labeled me as the “wise” sister. I wanted to tell her this, and ask her where this profound confident knowledge was coming from.

He’s not on my side, though. All the things I’ve accomplished I’ve had to do all on my own. I’ve never had any help from him or anyone else,” she continued. “You’re lucky.”

Did this luck last forever? Or do I have to be seeking it? Seeking Him?

I couldn’t see her eyes when she told me this, but now I imagine they would look similar to those of the girl I received my second real answer from. We were lounging in cushioned chairs, consuming forkfuls of carrot cake as I rambled off my multiple stories to her while our mutual best friend gazed into her cell phone and temporarily became lost in a different dimension (after telling us a strange occurrence of her own which I will write about later).

The track star, the rebel, the girl whose heart continues to be shattered day after day, did not even mention the word “weird” in her response. She glanced off to the side, her gaze fixed on something invisible,  and she was smiling– almost smirking. She turned back to me and said, simply,

“You’ve been touched by an angel. That’s what it is.”

“Maybe,” I said and immediately regretted it. She, too, was also wise beyond what her life reflects. I shouldn’t have even questioned her knowledge.

She shrugged. “That’s what it is. I wish these things would happen to me like they do to you two.”

That night, I pondered if it was really that simple for an angel to reach down from heaven and brush my shoulder. Then I suddenly remembered a time when someone, a stranger to me, hugged me and said, “You have just been hugged by an angel.” I was filled with more skepticism than ever at the time, but now I wonder if it’s true. Or perhaps I have been touched by multiple angels, which I wouldn’t doubt.

Perhaps I will never know why they happen, but I have learned throughout the past few years one sure thing: there really are no coincidences.



You can certainly give up on your novel. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time somebody did. What is the world without 200, 300, 400 pages? Probably not so different. You can give up because you’re too young and you don’t know anything. You don’t know what it’s like to be a mother, to be suffering from serious illnesses, to have an ex-husband, etc. You can give up and release a sigh of relief so you can finally get all those short stories together.

You can certainly just give up, like I almost did.

I almost gave up, until my own words starts following me around with an overbearing shadow. Last Saturday I walked into a café and saw my characters sitting at a table for lunch just like they do in a scene from Chapter One. I ran into a woman with the same name as my protagonist, Kathleen, twice the day before that and she heard me sing, telling me she didn’t know I sang and that it was beautiful, just like my she does in another scene I wrote. I went to view an apartment I was drawn to on a cloudy day yesterday, thinking it was on the upper level of the house. When I pulled up to the house, I was astonished to realize how similar it looked to the house I imagined Kathleen living in. In fact, it is the fictional house I wrote up, and the apartment was on the lower level, the exact location that I imagined. I was in shock to be standing on the deck of this house that is my opening scene, then walking into the same gloomy atmosphere inside.

My novel has come to life in the very city in which I was raised, the very city in which I presently reside. But my setting has also come to life in other parts of the world, specifically on the border of Colorado and New Mexico, where my protagonist’s trip takes place. I imagined and described these spaces vividly as if I had been there before. Two years ago on a road trip to New Mexico with my aunts and a family friend, we drove past certain places I knew all too well: Kathleen’s childhood best friend’s house on the side of the road between pueblos, and then the restaurant and bar in the fictional town of Anaranjado, NM, which turns out to be San Luis, Colorado, in actuality. I had clearly been to these places before either in my imagination or a different dimension.

It’s one thing for gravity to pull you towards your own words, taking you to places of your own imagination and to people you’ve described so descriptively. It’s another thing to have the Universe sing you songs that describe your words, sending shivers up your spine as you listen to particularly important scenes accompanied by a hauntingly fitting melody. For example, a song titled “Run” by none other than Kathleen Edwards describes my scene of Kathleen and her mother getting into an argument which leads Kathleen to run alongside the river until her legs went numb and her heart nearly beat out of her chest. “California Stars” by Wilco is reminiscent of one of her nostalgic flashbacks. I made a collage with both song names in it before I’d even heard both of them.

Because of all of these signals being thrown at me from all different directions, I can’t help but notice how the universe is begging me to channel a soul I never knew and mark her thoughts and expressions in written form. There are only rare voices called to do such things, and although I may sound crazy to the rest of the world and to myself, I must follow through with this journey I began five years ago on a school bus heading to a massive art show four hours away (speaking of which, I saw the art teacher who took us there, today by coincidence).

Now that I have recognized these encouraging pushes from the Universe, I have begun to gather resources and do research. I’m beginning to become immersed in my incomplete novel once again, in hopes that one day it will be completed and be read by others who somehow relate to it. Yes, those 200, 300, or 400 some pages may just be a significant part of history and a source of inspiration to all who read it.

What I’ve Found.


Let me tell you what I have found in the past three months.

I have found peace. I’ve found that I am so much happier with myself and the world. I have found that college education isn’t necessary, especially when it comes to being the person you’d like to be. I have found that I’m actually learning so much more by not being in college… and obtaining ALL of it. Because it’s important.

I have found the Sun. I have found the Sun easier to enjoy and more days to absorb it. I have found that the Sun is essential to my being. I have found my strength in absorbing its rays.

I have found friends. I have found that there are actually people on this planet who appreciate my being. I’ve found friends by accident when I wasn’t looking. I have found that I had forgotten that family are some of the best friends.

I have found creativity. I have found so many mystical books to read. I’ve found a hidden talent of singing bluesy covers of old rock n roll songs. I’ve found a green room full of magical paintings. I found a free novel writing class to attend over six weeks, and now I have co-founded a writing group.

I have found hope. I’ve found that I don’t always have to be a miserable, unhealthy soul. I have found that things happen for a reason always. I have found that my soul truly desires to become a yoga instructor and an herbalist. I’ve found that working two jobs– at a smoothie shop and a coffee shop–is not only fun and fulfilling, but it promises so many benefits for the present and future.

I have found time. I have found the time to play my guitar out in Sun during the morning. I have found time to walk my dog around the park. I have found time to read all of those mystical books that inspire my own novel creations. I have found that I don’t have to worry about much. I’ve found time to do yoga at least twice a week. I’ve found time to attend various writing workshops– for FREE. I have found that even when working ten hours in one day at two jobs, I actually feel even more energized at the end of the day.

I’ve found endless possibilities. I’ve already planned on opening a healing center with a friend, opening a coffee shop with another in our retirement years. I’ve found people who gave me generous tips on how to complete my novel. I’ve found friends I’ve had all along to exchange short stories with, and have found others to collaborate with on music and songwriting.

I have found adventure. I’ve have explored the limits of Cheyenne on my road bike. I drove to another city not knowing what I would find and ended up doing yoga in a studio loft surrounded by plants, as well as sitting in a coffee shop writing my novel. I’ve attended countless events with no one but myself and have met so many people by doing so. I have found that walking in the sun makes my spirit stir and become more alive. And so, I have also found health physically, mentally, and spiritually.

I have found freedom. I’ve found that riding a bike brings so much freedom to the mind. I’ve found how freeing yoga is to the body and the soul, and how freeing meditation is to the mind. I’ve freed myself from loneliness by associating myself with people with these like interests every day because I’ve found many meditation and yoga groups to become a part of.

I’ve found knowledge. I have found that books of traditional healing to be of spectacular importance. (And much cheaper than college textbooks, because I have also found many secondhand stores to buy from.) I’ve learned how to appreciate myself and how much more confident this makes me. I have learned how to trust my intuition and do things that make me happy. I’ve learned that I have to make myself present in any event that interests me, even if I have no energy, because one event has the power to change the course of my life. In fact, I’ve learned that EVERY ACTION changes my life dramatically. I’ve come to know the whole city and have learned that the majority the people I encounter are wise and accepting. I’ve learned how to make time and be productive, and how seriously important that is. I’ve learned that whenever there is nothing to do, there are always books to read. And I’ve learned that in order to fulfill all of my crazy dreams, I must work hard and be persistent. I’ve learned to make that the core of my intentions, along with assisting others in theirs.



Written July 16th, 2014.

You are a seed.You have been planted in the core of this ground and you are spreading your roots, making your way up through the soil, up from the Earth, like you know where you need to go. Maybe the wind has carried you a great distance to get you where you are now: in the present.  

I almost didn’t come. But the wind had managed to carry me to this sacred place surrounded by trees and a gray sky from all the way across the ocean in just over twenty-four hours. Glancing up at the gray sky that was threatening to rain, I deeply inhaled the crisp, fresh air. Merida’s smoggy, smelly skies were already long gone memories. I was back home, back to the soil of which I had originally blossomed… but something was different. I could feel something changing. It was going to be a positive change, but I was the only one who knew that. No one else would ever look at me the same…

 The seed does not know competition. Its life is not bound by outside influences. The seed cannot foresee the future, but it has a vision. You are blooming, blossoming in that place where only you know you need to be.

This voice had a forceful impact, as if it were the wind.

With my body pressed against the Earth in Child’s Pose, I felt rooted. I was grounded. I was a seed being watered by the rain that so coincidentally happened to be falling, ever so gently. It did not pour on us. We did not have to leave. We were where we needed to be; eight people on the sixteenth of July, doing yoga in a grassy secluded area in the park surrounded by trees.

But you are not the only seed. You were placed amongst thousands of other seeds, each sprouting in different places. But you bring your own uniqueness up from the soil, your own unique light.

And as I rose from the the ground, I blossomed into that red wildflower I picked on the hill earlier that day. I was carried across the Gulf of Mexico, had seen how the jungle’s tropical plants thrive,  and now had come all the way back to bloom again– albeit a harsher climate. This challenge was one that I was more willing to fight now.

There was no rain the rest of the session.

Because the seed cannot hear, it is able to grow upward into something better than it was, listening only to its core: the heart of the seed. We bring our hands to that heart center, knowing that this is the only place to begin our growth. We bow, bringing ourselves to respect that core: the heart.

I smiled at these words. Our movements were those of seeds sprouting roots, struggling to break through the comfort of the soil we had become so accustomed to.

The seed cannot foresee the future, but it has a vision.

After becoming fully awakened from my trance state, I walked to the water and submerged my feet, becoming one with the land. I then walked further to the dock, where I sat down, barefoot, with my knees against my chest. I watched the gentle waves all across the deep blue. I saw green trees on the other side. I became a part of those waves; I could feel myself rolling with them.

When I stood up, after an unknown period of time, I floated towards those green trees on the other side, barefoot. Once I reached the green trees, having no particular destination in mind, I walked even further, because time was all I had. But time didn’t matter.

the fight


what if

there was a way

to live without wasted time

what if

there was a way

to regain time wasted

what if there was a way

to regain time wasted by others

what if there was a way

to live every moment with meaning

to mend holes we’ve made with actions

that counteract our wasted time

and the wasted time of others–

i had a theory come to me

to live life as if

i were living for not only one

but 9 dying people

including some dying souls–

i am one of them

killing myself slowly

maybe even rapidly–

but in the process of realization

i am beginning to find motivation

and the strength to live this way–

it beings with every step

every thought

every word

every action

that i am living not only for myself

but for others who have strived

and those who are still striving

to live a life of prosperity




Today I reconnected myself with the Earth.

I didn’t know where I was going when I hopped on my bike, but I trusted the guidance of the great Spirit in the brilliant blue Sky, the shining Sun, the Wind that rustled the Leaves on the Trees, and the scare but beautifully formed white Clouds hovering in the distant Air. IT led me to a secret, sacred place. It is, I’m sure, a place that very few citizens in this city know about. They probably don’t care to know.

Hidden between two walls of trees changing colors runs a stream. A manmade path led me to Nature’s path that led me to the Stream.

I walked my bike further down the narrow dirt path surrounded by tall yellow and green grasses until I reached a place invisible to the outside world. The “outside world”, of course, meaning all things unnatural that would pollute Earth’s fragile soil—but this place remains preserved and practically untouched despite the flaws of modern modifications to civilized Cheyenne. I set my bike up against a tree with about five thick branches sprouting up from the ground a few feet above the Water.

I didn’t know what else to do, so I sat in the cradle that those branches formed, facin the stream, and wished I had brought a book to read. When I looked up, a small yellow dot shone through the yellowing puff of leaves on top of a branch that swooped up over the River on the opposite side. I had ventured down this path once before, but I hadn’t taken the time to sit in a Tree’s cradle. I realized that I was not only sitting in a tree above the water—I was sitting in a living chair. A chair with roots connected to the Earth. A book wasn’t necessary; I savored that moment, acquainting myself with this new place in solitude.

I took in my surroundings, the beautiful living things that are only seen by the crawdads and leeches from day to day. I breathed in the surprisingly warm air appreciatively. Then I began to talk, to ask favors of the Spirit that I found myself so connected to in that moment. I also spoke of my gratitude. I was so grateful to have absorbed so much Sun on an October day and found a place in Nature to meditate, right in the middle of civilization.

Eventually I stood up on the branch but I didn’t feel like leaving this peaceful place, so I began to stretch. Before I was aware of my actions, I was doing the Tree Pose in a Tree. I stretched my arms out parallel to the branches. Salutes to the Sun while facing the sun behind that patch of leaves in the sky followed my tree poses. It was then that I finally understood why doing yoga in nature is the real way to do yoga, and the most beneficial way.

My feet were suffering in my modern moccasins, though, and I had to get them off. I climbed out of the tree and walked further down the path until I found another opening to the stream where I walked down and sunk my feet into the wet sand. I sat down and immersed both feet in the Water, glad to finally be officially reconnected with the Earth again. The water washed up memories of cleansing my body with water in a similar hidden stream that I’d discovered last year in Laramie, the town I dreaded living in (until I found that stream to dip my feet in). These water sources are so real to me—raw, unfiltered water that falls from a Higher ground and mixes with the Earth and its various stones to become healing. Holy water. So I washed my legs and arms with this same holy water that connects all living beings and became one with it all.

Upon emerging from the depths of the Earth, I felt instantly more awake than I had when I first entered. My senses were more intense. I could breathe clearer. I thanked whatever it was that led me there, and I thanked my own trust in that intuitive sense. I thanked the wheels of my bike that took me there even when I was hesitant to use my own strength.