Dear Coloradoans and more specifically Denverites,
This letter is to all of you Colorado residents (natives or transplants) with whom I’ve interacted with within the last couple of months. I have defended you nearly my entire life as kind, welcoming, and beautiful people. I mean we live in one of THE most beautiful states of this nation, why would we need to be anything but happy and kind? I have built some of the strongest friendships and met people with unbelievable stories in the last 24 years. Some of you have taught me what sacrifice looks like and what it means to truly love someone. I am in debt to the love, support, and experiences I have received from some of you. My dreams, goals, successes, and failures have always been met with applause, collaboration, and at the very least constructive criticism. I relished in my happiness and wanted to share it with all of you without hesitation. I have loved my time here and questioned the love I felt rarely.
Until recently. Recently, I have become so disappointed and embarrassed of the people I have surrounded myself with as well as people I hardly know due to the life-changing news I have shared with all of you. I am moving to Alabama to begin a new relationship, have a fresh start, leave some of the ugly experiences and heartbreak I have felt here behind, and quite frankly, to just do something different rather than settling for the life I have known thus far. There is nothing wrong with my life here, but I have always searched for experiences and thriving outside of my comfort zone. And I’m FINALLY doing that. I thought, due to the track record of sharing news, that this would be met with excitement and a slight amount of sadness toward my absence- but mostly joy toward me pursuing something different and meaningful.
Instead, it has been met with sarcastic comments, doubts, remarks about living in the Southern part of our country (most of which have been made from people with zero experience living in the south), ignorance, and degrading, borderline and blatant racist jokes. For awhile, I was taking these comments with a grain of salt if you will, because I knew that I had support and real friendships here. Change is difficult and we all respond to it differently. But the comments have yet to stop or even slow down. And quite honestly, it breaks my heart. I have relied on the people in this state to be a community of support and guidance my entire life and you have yet to let me down. Until I tell you that I’m leaving and demanding more than what I have here. Then, you are rude, disrespectful, and the most unsupportive I have ever experienced.
At a time in my life where huge changes are happening as I am leaving friendships, family, irreplaceable views, experiences, coffee shops, sunsets, dry heat, and every familiar thing I have ever been able to call home behind, the support I have always relied upon has vanished and been replaced with comments that rather than building me up are starting to break me down. I have always had high expectations for the people in my life but most of you have let me down and not gracefully. I am nervous, scared, worried, and even sad about leaving this state and what could possibly happen when I’m thousands of miles from home. But I am also certain that this move, along with many obstacles, will be amazing and humbling. I never thought I would have to ask for support in making this next step of my journey one of the best but as I spend my last month in Denver, I will only be accepting true friendship in the form of positive affirmations, support, and advice. I want to defend the beautiful state and its residents that have been my home for 24 years as I travel and change my life but you, Colorado residents: best friends and acquaintances, need to step your game up because as of now, the terms of which I am leaving on are not as prideful as I hoped they would be. I know we can do better.