What is the meaning of life? To most it means getting a college degree, landing that corporate job, living in the suburbs with a happy family, and taking a vacation to the beach every summer. Life is about living. Life is about the adventure. Life is about reaching outside of the box for something so fulfilling, only those that truly live life will ever understand.
Income, social class, and possessions are only trivial. One can have everything in the world and still be unhappy. Money is made and lost. True happiness comes not from these trivial things but from things much simpler. Take chances; fly by the seat of your pants. Stepping outside of your comfort zone can really change your perspective on life.
The day I packed up everything I own in my car and started driving west is one of the most life changing events I have lived through. The grass was definitely greener on the other side, or should I say the snow was whiter on the other side. I was “living life”. I had a few dollars in my pocket and even fewer cares in the world. There is no dollar amount on the cost of living the dream. I had a part time job teaching kids how to enjoy god’s gift of a snow covered mountain just as I did every day. At times I felt as if I was stealing my paycheck. I could not believe I was getting paid to share my passion. Don’t get me wrong the pay was barely enough to live meagerly, but I was there. I was living the dream.
I had the privilege of meeting so many like minded people. I heard the same story so many times. “I came here for a winter after college to decompress and live the ski bum life before I dove into the real world, and that was 10 years ago.” Everywhere I turned, everyone I met was so sincerely happy to be alive and in the place they were. Happiness was in the air. Nothing mattered other than the snow report for the day and the après happy hours.
Music festivals, holiday weekends, and spring break all came and went and in the end the mountain stayed the same. The safe haven for us “snow people” to gather and shred and tell our war stories about the tourist madness that happened.
Eventually the sun comes out, the snow gets soft, the mud starts showing through and the people I have become so close with start leaving town. Every epic winter eventually comes to an end. Some head way south for the eternal winter, some head to the river for a summer of fun, and some head to real life to make ends meet so they can enjoy another 6 month long vacation next winter. Whatever happens in the off season we all “get it”. We all will eventually come back to the proverbial ski town bubble we have all come to love and yearn to live.