Summer is full of fun in the Shining Beautiful home. It’s afternoons at the pool, ice cream with friends, long drives along the front range and as many Starbucks frappuccinos as our stomachs can handle. It is also a season of change and this summer in particular is bringing a lot of big changes to our lives. Mikelle’s big brother Kasey and his family will be moving back to Denver after sixteen some odd years away. I will be moving out the beginning of October (which is fall, yes, but it’s sooner than you’d think) and Mikelle will be searching for a new addition to her home and her life.
My first thought, of course, is of Mikelle and how lucky I have been to live with her. It hasn’t always been easy being her roommate but I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. Becoming a roommate is a slow, step by step, learning process. Learning to adjust to someone else’s schedule and habits can be difficult and Mikelle is no ordinary roomie. Every time you are able to anticipate her needs or understand what she wants without words, you are rewarded with her trust. Every time you make her laugh or cheer her up when she’s down you’re rewarded with her beautiful smile. Every time you take her out for coffee or hang out with her at the park you are rewarded with her friendship. After more than a year together I know Mikelle pretty well.
Getting to know Mikelle is a joy but that’s not the only person I’ve gotten to know in my time here. I’ve had an excellent opportunity to get to know myself better as well. Working with Mikelle means a flexible schedule is necessary which equates to odd hours on and odd hours off. Resulting in an abundance of free time which means hiking, camping, road trips, new friends, new experiences, new me. Thanks to Mikelle’s schedule I’ve been able to take advantage of the many things Colorado has to offer. Thanks to Mikelle I’ve been able to create a life here. Thanks to Mikelle I’ve been able to make my home here.
When I look back at the person I was before living with Mikelle and the person I am now, I know with absolute certainty that if they were standing side by side they wouldn’t even recognize each other. Over the past fifteen months I’ve undergone a multitude of changes. My hair has been so many colors and lengths that everyone says to me, “Every time I see you, your hair is different!” It’s usually true too. Tattoos and glasses, clothes and fifteen pounds of baby fat later I am a completely new woman.
I owe it all to Mikelle and the wonderful opportunity she’s provided for me in being her roommate. Not everyone can handle the day to day life with Mikelle. It changes you in ways you never thought possible but always, always, always for the better. I’m lucky to be one of the few who have lived and learned with Ms Learned. I love Mikelle and the person she’s helped me to become.