I have a confession to make. I miss the mansion. I don’t like my friends any less this summer now that we lost our mansion, gardens and tennis pavilion that were home to countless impromptu wine nights, game nights and dinner parties last year. I realize that ten graduate students have no business hanging out in a multi-million dollar mansion all summer long. It was too good to be true, and I appreciate the times we had. We were spoiled. But the thing is I don’t miss the actual building or furniture. I miss the carefree feeling that we all had last summer. To some extent, we were each others’ world last year. We were all stuck in Denver for whatever reason, whether it was because of internships, jobs or classes (or lack thereof). But in the end it turned out to be one of the best summers of my life.
I can’t even really explain the magic of last summer. Ridiculous stuff kept happening to us. We scored free tickets to a Kings of Leon concert in the rain. We ate blueberries on the O.A.R. tour bus. We had so many dinner parties that we perfected the art of roasting artichokes. More importantly, we all still had one more year left in the beautiful protective bubble that is graduate school. Although I personally still have one quarter to go before I officially graduate, everyone is now dealing with the not so pleasant realities of life. Job hunting. Moving. Student loans. Trying to figure out what’s next. I’m already having nightmares about finding a job. I had nothing but pleasant dreams about mountains last summer.
I think this is kind of what life is about though, trying to hold onto the mansion and what it represents in the midst of craziness. Life is no longer simple for any of us, but the truth is it’s only going to get more complicated from here on out. My friends are still my world just like they were my world last summer, the only difference is that this time we are all in the midst of starting a new chapter in our lives. It’s easy to be friends in a mansion. It’s much harder to be friends amidst real world pressures. I think we’re up for the challenge.
My last night at the mansion before leaving for Atlanta.
And sorry to get all nostalgic on everyone. This weekend I am doing a sunrise 14er on Saturday and mountain biking on Sunday so I promise RMNPaula will be back to its regularly scheduled reports about fun adventures in the mountains in no time.