I just finished baking a fresh pan of tomato basil focaccia bread and a 30-minute workout video. Feeling productive and creative this morning!
On Thursday June 8th I moved up to Vermont for the summer. My family friends the Schweppes invited me to stay with them for a while and I’m really enjoying the change of pace. This blog hasn’t been updated in a while, so I’ll write a quick summary of the last two months:
In Medellin I was living in a gorgeous and spacious modern apartment. It was a three bedroom but I was the only one living there. I loved living alone. It was extremely liberating to do what I wanted when I wanted. Anytime I wanted to see friends I could go down the street to hang out, but I also could hide if I wanted to. Every night I took long walks around Laureles and the surrounding neighborhoods. If I have the chance to live in Medellin again, I will. What a lovely life.
Except, not all the time. Sometimes friends were busy when I was feeling lonely. Skype is great, but it’s just not the same. Doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted meant no one was checking me on some of my bad habits. There was a week long stretch when I went to sleep at dawn and slept until past noon, if I went to sleep at all. I was writing, but not enough, and not anything that will likely ever be read by anyone but me. I’m an obliger, and no one was there to hold me to my own goals and deadlines.
When my Aunt Sue Schweppe offered to let me stay with them this summer I was at rather a low point in Medellin. It was one of those few day stretches of low productivity and high self-criticism. So I called my dad to ask what he thought of the idea and then accepted the offer.
It came time to actually leave Medellin and I was heart broken. Over the four months I stayed there I came to love the city and my long daily walks. I had made some really amazing friends and I was happy with my apartment and overall life. But the plane tickets were purchased, I had told my land lord I was going, the Schweppes were expecting me. Time to say goodbye, time to move forward.
Before moving to Vermont I went home to Pennsylvania for a few weeks. My brother graduated from Lafayette College and we hosted a party two weeks later. I visited my grandmothers and aunts, my sister and I spent time together. Pleasant, but boring. I was extremely thankful that the stay was short and I wasn’t moving home again.
Reasons I’m excited to live in Vermont this summer:
- I love the Schweppes. My father was Scott Schweppe’s roommate when they lived at Killington. Scott eventually fell in love with their next-door-neighbor Sue Baumgaertle, and this year they’re celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary in their new home in Middlebury, VT. I call them Aunt Sue and Uncle Scott even though there is no blood relation, when their daughter Jen came to visit Colombia I introduced her to everyone as my cousin. Jen is my best friend, a true cradle-to-grave bosom buddy. Growing up I spent countless ski weekends, beach vacations, and summer bible camps with Jen and her younger sister Lauren. Sometimes the best kind of family are the ones you choose.
- Pressure to get creative work done. Jen and I both struggle without structure of deadlines. Aunt Sue has promised to kick our butts a little so we both get more writing, filming, editing and creative projects not just started, but finished. Uncle Scott is talking about starting a novel. We can all keep each other accountable to do more work and be our best selves.
- Beautiful New England summers. Of course the leaves are gorgeous when they turn fiery red and orange, and the snowy fields have a stoic beauty, but I’m a summer baby. I love nothing more than lush green grass and leafy trees, blue sky afternoons and sunsets at 9 pm. The Schweppe’s new home is a dream come true; they live in an old B&B with a wrap-around porch overlooking a waterfall on the New Haven River. It’s heavenly to fall asleep each night to the rushing sound of the water. Vermont is 78% forested, a drive down a major highway includes more views of red barns and green pastures than of shopping centers or office buildings.
- Fresh start. I have a clean slate to eat more healthily, get outside and exercise more, stop consuming so much media, create more, etc. Each time I move I set a list of goals for myself and try to form better, healthier habits. Maybe this time I’ll actually succeed.
- Make new memories. This summer will be different than any other of my life, and having new and different experiences is (at least to me) the best way to live a full life. I wrote a Vermont Summer Bucket List for myself today and I’m really excited to start checking things off. A few items include: touring a Vermont brewery, hike Mount Mansfield, swim in the Bolton Potholes, and conquering the Vermonster at Ben & Jerry’s.