On Friday morning I woke up at 7:30 in the morning to go hiking with one of my friends in Golden, Colorado. As we were hiking along the South Tabletop Mountain trail, I took in the scenery around me and realized that in about a month, my surroundings would change significantly. I realized that the snow-topped mountains to the West wouldn’t be there anymore. I realized that the distant skyline of Denver would be thousands of miles away from me. It was quite a humbling feeling–although it was also kind of scary–to know that I’d be moving thousands of miles away from home for the second time.
For those of you who don’t know, I made the decision to move to Colorado when I saw the Rocky Mountains for the first time in my life. I distinctly remember my dad telling my sister and I that we would be going to Colorado for a ski-trip, but I was extremely resistant since I was happy where I was at the time: I had a lot of friends in my 5th grade class, I loved my teacher, and I certainly didn’t want to miss out on interesting tales from the time that I was absent. Basically, I was the type of ten-year-old who wanted to remain where they were, and any threat of changing normality scared me.
After much persuasion from my dad (and the fact that I really didn’t have a choice in the matter), I reluctantly agreed to go to Colorado. We arrived at the Denver International Airport early in the morning and went to pick up our car rental. After a quick lunch in Denver, we headed towards the mountains via 6-West, and eventually I-70. Our car climbed through the foothills and finally we were surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. It was a beautiful, sunny day and the mountains stood tall above us. I had never seen such an amazing view in my entire life, and that’s all it took.
From that day on, my heart knew where it wanted to be. I changed from wanting to stay in Mattawan, Michigan for my entire life to wanting to explore the world around me. And as previously stated, that small experience was what motivated me for seven years to find a way to live in this beautiful state. There was much more to the world than a small town in Southwest Michigan, and I wanted to take advantage of that.
Now here I am, eagerly awaiting my departure to the next chapter in my life, just as I did three years ago when I was moving to Denver. I get to fulfill one of my life’s dreams yet again at such a young age, and I couldn’t be more grateful. But it goes to show that even the smallest things can influence one’s passions, motivation, and life-goals. Whatever those experiences may be to you, I hope you take them and hold them dearly to you. I hope they give you the strength to push you through the dark times and shine in the good. Although they might be small things to everyone else in this world, it can mean the world to you, and that’s what truly matters.