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By Columnist Bob Bridge

The deep greens and blues of the Rocky Mountains.
The deep greens and blues of the Rocky Mountains.

“If only you believe like I believe, baby, we’d get by. If only you believe in miracles ...”

There’s a fact some folks refuse to recognize. Remaining in one location for an entire life is not compulsory. It is a choice.

No binding boundaries exist on the outskirts of your chosen county. You don’t like it here? Fine. Don’t let the door dent your derrière as you depart toward that desired destination.

It was the mid-1970s, and I resided in Bloomington. After completing my third year of college, I was thoroughly burned out, running on empty. It was time to assess my sorry circumstance strategically.

Whispers from my subconscious mind told me this campus was not for me. I was neither needed nor wanted.

Hence, heading westward became more than a theoretical possibility for this hapless Hoosier. I put the pedal to the metal and didn’t stop until I reached the Rocky Mountains.

Step aside, John Denver.

Wow, what a sight to behold!

However, there was no time to rubberneck. This was not a vacation.

I landed a job, rented an apartment near the Air Force Academy, and assembled a new existence. Soon, I was delivering paint and glass to the auto dealerships and body shops in and around Colorado Springs.

What did I like about my new job?

It was outdoors and fundamentally physical. Mostly, I was employing my muscles, not seated in a classroom burdening my beleaguered brain.

I was a mystery man of sorts, unobtrusive and unnoticed. In fact, most of my coworkers called me Willie. It might have had something to do with the collection of multicolored jerseys emblazoned with #24.

I became a master of anonymity as I slowly but gradually acquired an attitude of self-confidence. Independent and unencumbered, my smile reappeared.

I worked hard and played hard, often riding a Kawasaki into the deep greens and blues of the Rockies. This lifestyle based on common sense and simplicity was a refreshing diversion from the rat race I experienced on campus.

Make no mistake, I’m not opposed to college. However, it is best undertaken with purpose and focus. Acquire what needs to be accomplished, then move on to your real life. Don’t dawdle.

A young friend recently asked, “Does moving to a different state fix happiness?”

Geographically speaking, probably not. Unfortunately, problems travel well.

Changing one’s state of mind is the ultimate challenge. Don’t delve into the dankness. Lean into the light.

Choose substance over image, and kindness over chronic competitiveness. Orchestrate your life. Direct it.

Listen closely to those intimate whispers. Be you, not them.

Contentment can be won.

Bob Bridge welcome comments at 812-276-9646 or

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