Weekly Update — August 17, 2022

The First Week in Boulder.

August 17, 2022

(About 5 minutes)

The First Week

Ideally I would like to be the kind of person who sees each week (or even each day) as its own unique experience, an atomic unit of time from which the thing that we call "life" is composed, but which is itself so special and precious that the temptation to compare it to its fellow units of time is unthinkable. I would love to wake up each morning and feel a childlike thrill and joy at the prospect of once again getting to plunge my foot into the ever-flowing river of time, laughing as I simultaneously recognize the interconnectedness of it all as well as the impossibility (not to mention the utterly uselessness) of trying to discern patterns and decipher meaning from the eddies of experiences swirling around my exposed ankle. (In this vision of myself, I’m usually wearing some kind of tunic and rolled-up pant leg—kind of a Tom Bombadil vibe.)
But the truth is that my thoughts do not tend to such liberation from the anxiety of contrastive differentiation, and given the number of "first weeks" that I’ve had in recent memory, it’s hard not to compare my first week living in Boulder to some of those.
Let’s start with what has been going well. If you read last week’s post, you know that one of my primary goals for the next few months is to get some serious computer work done. Honoring this, one of the very first things I did upon arriving in town was to find a place for me to go everyday and do that work. I briefly considered saving myself some money and just working from home again, but after seeing that the single window in my cavernous bedroom looks out into a completely covered alley/walkway, I knew that any money I spend on a workplace would be money well spent. I scouted the town’s co-working spaces, toured a few of them, and eventually settled on one with ample light, dozens of places to sit, free coffee, snacks, and kombucha (I know, I know), as well as something called "Brunch Bunch Wednesdays," which confusingly takes place at the very un-brunchy hour of 9:00 a.m. All very appealing, and not to mention that the building is only an 8 minute walk from my apartment! I worked roughly 9-5 every single day last week on Subject+Predicate and am pleased to report that I’ve completely dockerized my dev and staging environments. (More updates on the S+P front next week.)
I also immediately got to work on getting myself some wheels. As early as May, once I’d signed a lease and knew that I’d be moving here, I already started making inquires at local Royal Enfield dealerships about the motorcycles that they had in stock. I knew that I wanted a Royal Enfield Himalayan since my friend and moto-guru Chris first introduced me to them sometime last year. The Himalayan is an adventure style bike that is perfect for both riding around town and traveling off-road on steep, rocky trails. It’s cheap, durable, easy to repair, and made primarily for the Indian / European market, so it’s pretty slow, and has a hard time going any faster than 70 miles per hour. But for my purposes of getting out and exploring the beautiful Rocky Mountains, it’s almost a perfect bike. I shopped around between a few dealers, worked out a great deal at one of them, and after a small adventure of riding around suburban Denver at 4:45 p.m. looking for a bank or credit union that would let me withdraw an awkward amount of cash (the dealership wouldn’t take a wire transfer from my bank), I purchased a bike and took the mountain-side highway home. (I’m sure there will be plenty more moto updates in coming months.)
Royal Enfield Himalayan
As far as my apartment goes, after scrounging up my basic furniture requirements from Facebook Marketplace/Craigslist and unpacking my clothes from the suitcase where they have lived for the better part of the last two years, it was time to break it to my roommates that even though we only have about 6 square feet of counter space in the kitchen, my Zojirushi rice cooker is so important that, yes, it does in fact need to stay out all of the time, and no, there is no way to disable the fact that it plays about 20 seconds of "twinkle twinkle little star" every time you start it.
The Maxwell Musketeers
But of course, not everything has been peachy. Socially, I feel as though I’m faltering a little, especially when compared to how quickly I’ve been able to make friends and form groups elsewhere. For instance, this last Saturday night, despite my best efforts to rustle together out of my nascent contacts and relationships some kind of social outing, I ended up going to an arcade by myself and playing Donkey Kong for several hours. (I did, however, achieve my personal high score!) I can already hear what you’re saying: "Give it a break, you’ve been there for one week. You can’t expect to already have a robust social life already! And besides, don't you think some alone time is good for you anyway?" ¯_(ツ)_
Donkey Kong
I’m sure that things will settle together soon and that I’ll start meeting people and exploring different communities. I’ve taken up salsa dancing again, joined a rock climbing gym, and am considering learning how to play bluegrass guitar because my roommate Abby’s boyfriend’s house has an open jam potluck every Monday night. Apparently everyone in Boulder plays at least one string instrument.
Strings
For now, I’m just trying to keep busy, put myself ‘out there’, and wait for my body actually to comprehend that I’ve crossed the threshold of "short term experience" to "wow I actually live here." But on the other hand, maybe I need to let go of this need to contrast things and to just accept that this is a new place, I'm doing different things, and that my life here is going to develop one way or the other.