Confessions of an Indoor Kid
Fort Collins is beautiful this time of year.* The weather is mostly in the mid-60s, the sun is a-shining, there’s more crisp mountain air than I know what to do with, and CSU students zip around the city on longboards with the wind blowing through their dreadlocks. People take day trips up to Horsetooth Reservoir or spend afternoons lounging on the patios of any number of local breweries, slurping down fancy IPAs and enjoying the slow shift into Spring.
There’s almost nothing to complain about these days and I sort of hate it. Let me explain:
I’m an indoor kid. While Teddy Roosevelt made up for his youthful sickliness by becoming a beacon of rugged masculinity and outdoorsmanship, I veered in a different direction. Give me a stack of comic books and a dark little room over a revitalizing jog any day of the week. Winter here was perfect for me. There was something thematically appropriate for my heart about walking to campus in the snow, blasting Scandinavian black metal in my headphones and ready to hunker down with a bunch of poetry and a mug of coffee. My inherent moodiness and hermit-like attributes felt right at home in the frigid grip of January.
But now? It’s undeniably gorgeous outside. I can barely write this blog post over the sound of twittering songbirds. This is hard for me, somehow. I moved to Fort Collins from New Orleans, another city that forces you inside with its weather, and I thrive creatively when the environment precludes me from doing anything but writing. Here? Not so much.
But that’s the thing about this whole MFA experience. I didn’t move across the country to sit around doing what I could be doing anywhere else. Starting this program has been a revelation for many other aspects of my life. I’ve gotten to surround myself with a diverse array of amazing writers and new friends. I’ve begun working for a prestigious literary magazine, finally understanding the process behind all the rejection letters I get when I submit my work. I’ve stood up in front of a classroom of undergraduates and somehow convinced them that I’m an authority figure worthy of being taken seriously. I’m writing the best poetry of my life and experimenting with forms and techniques that I would never otherwise have tried.
I feel truly lucky to be here at this time in my life, 1.5 semesters into my MFA and genuinely hopeful about the future. Spring break started a few days ago and I have a full week ahead of me with no responsibilities (besides, of course, grading papers for CO150). Maybe I’ll go on a hike? Probably not, but even the fact that I’m considering it is progress.
*Zach takes no responsibility, though infinite satisfaction, in the current snowfall. This post was submitted while the sun was still out. While the hike was an easy decision, progress is still being made.