Sentimentality is really not my thing, so I’ll just blurt it out. I’m leaving.
Writing this has turned out to be more difficult than I expected. I thought the words would flow in a torrent of… Well, I’m not even sure now. But I’ve been told by many a person who would know that I’m frustratingly terrible at effectively communicating my emotions, and I want to be better for you, readers.
Seniors are graduating, so, many of us are in the same boat right now, feeling similar things. Saying goodbye is difficult even when you know you can’t stay. You want to stay in college, of course, but you have to go be a Real Adult now. I want to keep writing a column in which I get to drop F-bombs and discuss feminism in music, but I can’t stay at my first Real Job forever.
Part of the problem with big life changes is that you start to look at what you’re leaving through rose-colored glasses. Well, if you’re a college student or music journalist, perhaps “beer goggles” is more appropriate. Either way, suddenly you’re not seeing what drove you crazy — the crap professors and tests, the clueless publicists and obligation to cover music you hate. Instead, you’re focusing on the fun, the freedom and the friends.
I’m leaving for a job editing and designing pages at the Denver Post’s YourHub. I’m excited for the opportunity, but I’ll miss my amazing co-workers and making a living off an obsession with music. Every breakup must come with a little truth talk, though, and I need to say that I don’t know how much longer I could have covered the Boulder music scene, anyway. Lately, it was mostly about Denver. Bands who want to play for more than a donation and bands that want to make certain kinds of music leave Boulder for Denver. Managers of touring bands tell me they’d love to play Boulder, if only there were a venue between the Fox and Conor O’Neill’s in size.
It’s frustrating to read the words “genre-defying blend of [insert 10 genres]” over and over. It’s frustrating to see the same touring bands booking the big stages. It’s frustrating that tributes and decade-themed covers often do better than original music. It’s frustrating to know that b-side, Shug’s and Astroland couldn’t survive.
But, damnit, Boulder, you try. You care so much, and that’s why it’s still hard to say goodbye. I can’t change you, but maybe you can change yourself. You claim you want to do better and seem passionate about it. Let’s see some action.
For now, I’ll wear the beer goggles. Boulder will always be the place where I worked my first years as a music journalist. I’ll be bitter, as with any breakup, but in the end, it’s not you. It’s me. I’m ready and excited for something new. (And, no, I’m not giving up music journalism. Hello, freelancing.)
And so, it’s goodbye. Thank you for being there to help me grow, Boulder, and bothering to even read my bipolar weekly rants. I’d say it’s been real, but it’s been unreal.