Gaper’s Syndrome

It’s my conviction that you can only truly appreciate the glory of the mountains if you have been unfortunate enough to not have lived among them your entire life. The first time I saw this rising majesty of rocks was while vacationing in California. I had never seen something so intimidating, so inviting. For the next 15 years, my sole goal in life was to become closer to these God-like forms. Enter Colorado State.

            When people ask me why I chose to leave the Midwest, the only home I ever knew, I often reply with one word: mountains. It would be easy enough to tell a lie, that I had planned this move from the beginning, but it would still be a lie. In truth, I was sitting in a quaint, downtown coffee house with friends when one mentioned how much he missed his home in Denver. A small seed began to grow, and within one week, I had sent an application to Colorado State University. No back ups, no way of seeing the campus, no regrets.

            Seven paychecks later, I had quit my job and was heading west on I-70 toward a new adventure. I knew no one and nothing of the campus. At about 15 hours in, they began to appear. It was past midnight, but I could still make out the darkened, jagged ridges lining the night sky. After twenty years in a foreign land, I was finally home.

            It’s been two months. I still walk to class everyday unable to scrape the grin away from my face. I call home to brag daily (though I’m not sure my friends and family share my love). I’m more than just a gawking visitor, I’m here to stay. The natives will never understand.

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4 March 2008. Social Commentary.

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