Iíve been realizing that I havenít been following through with anything. I havenít been determined. I havenít been solid on my word. I havenít been much of anything lately. Not a writer, not a skier and most definitely not a loyal blogger. Instead of being something, Iíve been somewhat sulking in my time as nothing, sitting around like a porous sponge, permeably empty at times while the world spun around my head like it does to cartoon characters; except Iím 20 years of life, and I got a whole lot of living left to do.

This being my junior year at school in Vermont, things were different. I couldnít write if you paid me, and trust me, people tried. The offers were on the table, the events were happening, the crowds were gathering, but my enthusiasm was absent. As skiers, we always know skiing means something to us, but sometimes during the summer, it drifts around on the warmer breezes, typically becoming an absent minded thought. We lose a sense of it. Sometimes we lose a grasp of it. The feeling of your edges biting the abominable snow hill doesnít cease, but it fades. Even your candy colored snow pants will one day lose their punch.

But the passion remains.

For me, I knew I would always love writing, but at school it became a chore. Every paper seemed to be bleeding with red ink, stamped with ďre-writeĒ in the bossiest of handwritings. I just stopped caring. I stopped caring about a lot of things. I sat through IF3 as jittery as the next kid (aside from the Red Bull vodkas for breakfast) and felt the IV of winter being jabbed into my arm. Its icy fluids rushed through my veins, tingling like your throat as you inhale while a mint rests on your tongue. The sensation is cool, yet shivering to the senses. It surged around my body, making every pore thrust its self open to take it all in. I am a skier. They are skiers. WeÖ are skiers.

But the moment ended.

It melted like a snowflake. I came home and watched Refresh more times I can remember, and then it was Metropolis on repeat. The IV port became busy as new fluids juiced through me in the form of ski DVDs, exchanging hands and passing along the stoke. I knew there was a high to be had; a skierís high, not from green, but from white. Not burned or crushed, but fallen white, from the sky, from a place above all of us. I couldnít get my same fix that I knew I was capable of. Winterís love was there but, ďitís not you, itís me,Ē I said.

I could almost cry thinking about it. Iím not the Black Eyed Peas, but ďwhere was the love?Ē I didnít know. I wasnít happy but there wasnít a remedy. Even as the calendar pages were sloughed off like old skin, I wasnít feeling that clean burst of excitement.

But it wasnít you, Winter, it was me.

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I grew up on the East Coast all my life. Born in Providence, RI. Raised just outside of Syracuse, NY. Beaches of Maine every summer, trails at Fabiusí Toggenburg Mountain every winter. Diploma. Burlington. And here we are.

The East Coast is an amazing place. Iíll say it once and Iíll say it again. Weíre a breed unlike any other. Living off Dunkiní Donuts, attending mass at Fenway Park and enjoying the four distinct seasons that I dare to be rivaled by any other region. Try us. We know hardship. We know pain. We know disappointment and we know failure.

And we are stronger because of it.

I have the East Coast to thank for that. You brought me up right, EC, but it is with sadness and great pleasure, that I depart from you today.

I am moving out to Salt Lake City, UT. Am I scared? Yes. Am I excited? Yes. Will it ever knock over the pedestal that I have placed everything East on? Hell NO.

I needed a change and Iíve found it in the SLC. As much as I loved Burlington- its people, its culture, itís snow- it was my summer camp. Iíd never attended sleepover camp as a kid, but at a mere 5 hours from home, it just wasnít cutting it. I will be back someday, but whatís ahead of me right now, is a 3 day car drive with my mom. Does the West provide the answers? No, but itís something different than what Iíve known- what I love. Maybe I will come back after graduation, swearing off anything past Chicago, or maybe I will dig my heels into the western ground and watch the years tick by.

Who knows?

As 2010 starts teetering down the hill like a brand new babe on skis (term for baby, not bombshell chick you idiots,) I am eagerly opening my arms to catch it. So hereís to another year, may it bring you and the rest of NS the happiest of joys and the gnarliest of shred days. I hope you all find what it is you may be looking for, but just know that ďthe best place in the world to ski? Wherever my friends are at, thatís what I say.Ē Thanks Dumont, and thank YOU NS.

Do what makes you happy, go where you want to go and, as a wise man once noted, take the risks or else youíll be one year older when you do.

Just had to say...

NDM- You lighted the freeskiing flame. Itís still a-burniní. Canít ever thank you enough.

CBM- Your middle name isnít Bernadette but I really donít care. Shred it girl. Hold down the fort. Girls that ride together, stay together. Best of luck in NZ.

AGM-Thanks since day one. Made me knew I could do it. Thanks for the faith and the everything.

EW/JT/MB- My little brothers. Keep me laughing with some nice video messages. Kings of Cool. StoweBro photo shoot still means the world.

NS/MTL Office- Didnít get my last goodbye but go big in the new crib. You havenít partied till youíve gone to a last minute Friday Office Party.

JS/MR- Thanks for the opportunities. You continue to inspire me and remind me why it is I do what I do. Safe travels.

ShredMC- Youíre as badass as they come. Biggest and best jams Iíve been to. Roll deep. I will be back.

ToggenSluts- Pseudofamily. Will miss making cookies, photo shoots, and all of the gromtourage. Hold down the fort.

And to all of the persistent readers, god you kids are great. Thanks for the support.

And to the non-NS readers, thanks for reading as always. You know who you are. Now go fucking ski.