The first move was Sarah Renkoski. Most people don't know who Sarah Renkoski is.
She is my best friend. She was the first and is, so far, the only person in Flagstaff that I can truly be myself around because she is the exact same. We met at Karma, where I bartended until very recently and she was a server. We have the same sense of humor, are both pretty offensive, love to eat, love to shop, love to be honest and honestly love to be bitches. We both love our space, we both love our dogs, we both hate our dogs and we both have superb taste in wine and beer. We are level-headed at opposite times, giving the other one an honest sense of ground and reason. We hung out almost every day and I am now realizing that may have been the clutch of my poverty, because when you love shopping and you love food it's really hard to just sit around. When Sarah and I first started hanging out, I realized I hadn't laughed that hard or that honestly in far too long. Those days seem so far away, and they are far away because everything changes when you're not looking.
Sarah and I both started looking for jobs at the same time, and we got them at the same time. The only difference is that I stayed in Flagstaff, and she moved. She started interviewing for a job with Boston Beer Company, and we started having beer tasting parties on Sunday nights for the several Sam Adams/Boston Beer Company beers (who knew there were so many?) while naturally having Hello Ladies on in the background. If you haven't watched that show, then watch it. If you don't like that show then we aren't friends and also (in the words of Stuart) "You can fuck off." This was the beginning of the end on a few different accounts, but that's hindsight speaking. Sarah left on the morning that Jesse and I broke up for good. Sarah moved, and I was alone again. However that is not really true because a) I have Cohen and b) I am a̶l̶m̶o̶s̶t̶ good at being alone because c) I like it.
And the breakup is hard to write about not because it is painful but because there is everything and nothing to say. We are both wonderful people but we are no longer great together, and that is sad. At the same time, now is the most hopeful and happiest I have felt in too long. I can't speak to his account because that would be unfair and rude, but I suspect it is along the same lines. Several of the people I've told have been shocked, and asked "What happened?!" but that is a loaded question and also an impossible question. Sometimes things just fall apart, you aren't right for each other anymore, wants and needs of the relationship don't match up and there's really not much else to say.
This breakup prompted the second move. I moved out for approximately 20 hours into a condo of a co-worker's boyfriend, who had two spare rooms. I quickly realized it was a rash, poor decision on my part. Before living with Jesse I think I've lived alone for too long to have a roommate - at least one that I don't know well. There are a few people that I could see myself being roommates with, but not someone I don't know, or with such a different lifestyle. So I moved back, and that is the third move. The apartment that we shared is expensive for my new salary, but do-able, and Jesse has a kind heart.
So then there is my new career. When Renkoski and I were job searching, I applied to be a rep for Patagonia. During this specific length of time, I was bartending at Dark Sky (Flag's hottest new brewery owned by people who deserve it most) and met a gentleman named Brad, who had just moved back to Flag to run an outdoor store (Peace Surplus) after spending a year and half in Seattle working for AmerSports/Arc'teryx. I picked his brain and asked for advice in the industry after telling him about my Patagonia prospect and he had so much to say. He extended his help to me whenever I needed it, and I soon took him up on that. After two interviews with Patagonia they offered me the job. It was total shit pay and I had to move to Reno. Fucking Reno but the thing is that it is Patagonia. I didn't know if I should take it to get my foot in the door or tell them to (for lack of better words) go fuck themselves for expecting their employees to live off of such a low pay. Anyway, I went to Brad for advice and (a very long story short) I have now accepted a position as the Apparel Buyer for the store that he runs. I have a dream job, decent pay, great bosses and get to keep living the life I've built in this town. I won, and I needed that win so badly.
When Brad called to offer me the job, Sarah Renkoski and I were sitting in my car in the Safeway parking lot. She was dead silent when I called him back (I missed the first call) and while we both rapidly started to sweat in my black car in the Arizona sun we silently celebrated by car dancing and jumping up and down. I'd like to think I was calm and professional while accepting the job, but I think my voice was shrieking with joy. While he discussed the pay she elbowed me and mouthed "That's good money!" as I rapidly nodded my head and smiled wider than I had in far too long.
I'm currently dealing with a herniated disc in my lower back which is causing me some nerve pain throughout my left hip which is hindering my running. I can't recall whether I have written about my running lately (likely not) but I work with Emily Harrison as my coach, Shea Tinder as my massage therapist and Dr. AJ Gregg as ... everything else? He helps me weekly with my current injury, nutrition (racing and day-to-day) and strength training. I truly believe I have created the perfect trifecta of a team to help me succeed as fast and best as possible. Yesterday I ran for 80 minutes and was relatively pain free. This felt like a victory, and for the first time in too long I felt quite positive. So far this summer I've PR'd in every distance I've raced, including a win at a hard mountain half marathon. My ultra season starts at the end of September, and if I can keep my shit together mentally I think I will be very successful.
So I'm currently in the middle of a lot of changes, but I find it exciting and motivating. I'm starting a career, my home life is back to just me and my dog, I'm buying a plane ticket to Connecticut and I'm finally getting back to longer distances in my racing. I worked my last shift last night as a bartender at Karma Sushi. I am thoroughly excited to be getting home at 5pm instead of 11:30pm, and with a company where I can grow, while being in the industry that I love and am passionate about.
My FAMILY is also coming out to visit tomorrow morning for an entire week. A lot of people would be like "Ugh, my family is here for a week," but my family is the best. It is not only my immediate family but also some extended, and they are amazing. They are hilarious, they are incredibly good at drinking beer, (more importantly) they have wonderful taste in beer, and I can't wait to laugh with them, share this place with them, and just be with them. If you know them, you get what I'm saying, and if you don't know them, then a) you should and b) I feel bad for you.