I moved to Carbondale, Colorado, from Carrboro, North Carolina, in May 2015. I was in a relationship at the time that wasn't very promising, but I moved with her anyway when she took a job with the City of Aspen straight out of grad school at University of North Carolina.
Like many people in this rural valley with a resort-driven economy, I worked numerous jobs to get by. I was full-time at a run/hike specialty shop in Carbondale for a little more than a year, and was working part-time as a guide at the (world class) Aspen Art Museum. For about half a year, I was working three jobs: the two aforementioned, and as a freelance reporter for a public radio station. For maybe 9 months I didn't have consecutive days off: stupid schedule at the run store was off Sunday and Tuesday, and I often used Sunday to work at the Art Museum and Tuesday to work on stories at the radio station.
After being invited to interview for a couple of full-time positions with the station (and subsequently turned down), I decided to get serious about pursuing other full-time work that would allow me to drop all the other jobs. I got a FT job at the City of Aspen's historic performance venue, the Wheeler Opera House, with solid salary and benefits ... and was subsequently offered another chance at a FT position with the public radio station. I was just about over it at that point, but spent a lot of time talking to friends and family about the opportunity, and finally decided to take it. Put in my notice with the City after just two weeks on the job, which I felt terrible about, but to my colleagues' credit, they were understanding, supportive, and enthusiastic about me leaving for what is admittedly my dream job in radio. I'm glad I took the job, though it has its stressors ... I've never been a morning person, but now I'm up at 5:10 a.m. or so to come in and host Morning Edition, which means going to bed around 9 p.m. and engaging in very little social activity during the week. I'm on the air starting at just past 6 M-F, and stay on until 9.
Along with hosting NPR's Morning Edition, I'm the ops/program manager, so I program and maintain the station's automation system and various equipment, set up ISDNs with the BBC and other organizations (we have lots of famous [in a public radio sense] retirees who live in Aspen who come in for interviews), set up and run audio for on-air forums on ballot issues or debates between candidates for office, sweep snow off the giant NPR satellite dish, etc. etc.
Aspen is a very dog-friendly town (except for when you're trying to find housing), and I actually bring my dog (which was Calendar Girl's dog for a year as a puppy) to work everyday. My other dog, Rasheed aka Sheed aka Rasheed Wallace's Bald Spot, died unexpectedly in the kennel sometime overnight on the last day of November/first of December while I was on my first vacation from the station. It was one of the most tragic, awful events in my life. He was close to turning 11, but was in excellent health and physical shape, was still super muscular and fit, agile, etc. We climbed Colorado's highest point, Mt. Elbert (14,440') in October, and he loved it and did great.
After the relationship that brought me out here ended (after living together for about 6 months), I was single for a little less than two months and then dated an evangelical Christian for about 7 months. It was mostly positive. We parted on good terms, and both knew for the length of the relationship that it wasn't going to be a permanent thing due to substantial philosophical differences. Interestingly, she's one of the few liberal/progressive evangelicals that I've ever spent time with. Perhaps even more interesting ... I'm now dating her roommate, who is an attorney and grew up in Denver but whose parents are both from South Carolina, so we share that southern connection. She even eats grits, which I don't fuck with, even when my moms make 'em.
I don't have kids. I spend a lot of time outdoors. I've been injured and haven't really been able to run for about 7 months. That sucks. I'm handling it all right, but it's hard on me mentally.
Criminals are the people we punish for being a nuisance; artists are the people we reward for being a nuisance; successful businessmen are criminals disguised as artists.