"The mountains are calling and I must go."
Eighteen years ago, almost to the day, I left something in Colorado — pieces of me on the peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park, in the mines of Georgetown, under the hot waters of Glenwood Springs, and around the rocks of Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. It was my first experience in a land so grand, where the earth opened up, rose out of the ground, and wrapped me in its brilliant colors. And nearly every year since, I’ve returned to that place in some sort of sacred journey to reclaim those sacrificial pieces.
Soon the journey will come full circle, as today we announce our plans to move to Colorado Springs — looking to establish the next great Colorado marketing firm.
Maybe you saw this coming. If you read my last two blogs, you might have seen the clues that the brand we built in Indiana would one day shift into a Colorado marketing agency. Like our new logo — a key that, when deconstructed, portrays the sun on the horizon amidst two mountain peaks.
Or maybe you guessed it by the hero image that sits atop our new website — an old map of Dillon, where my wife and I spent our first night in Colorado. Or perhaps you saw it coming by the myriad of photos I’ve captured in Colorado over the years.
It all began last summer on a trip to Texas Hill Country of all places. There, my wife and I first felt a nudge that we weren’t supposed to be in Indiana forever. Why? We weren’t sure. Where to? We didn’t know.
Answers to those questions wouldn’t come until a few months later when Lindsay’s boss returned from a sabbatical out West with an inspiration to expand his business — Fishhook — to Nashville, Tennessee and Denver, Colorado. He asked his team if anyone was interested in moving, and without hesitation, Lindsay threw up both her hands to answer for all of us, “The Dudecks are in!”
But naturally, it wasn’t that easy.
For months, we wrestled with the opportunity in silence — telling hardly anyone. As much as we’d dreamed of such a day, there was still much to process. This was Indiana, after all. The place we were born, where we grew up, and where we’d spent the past 13 years of our lives. And sure, we had moved to two different states before, but this time it was different. Now we’d built a family, started a small business, and formed a community of friends. How would all those things be affected?
Not to mention the family we’d be leaving — my parents and Lindsay’s parents who are in the latter stages of life. How would they cope with our departure? And how would Quinn do leaving his grandparents, cousins, and friends — not to mention his birth family who live not far from us. Though he’d never met them, would he, on some level, miss them even more?
These were just some of the questions we pondered over the past six months.
But in the end — after all the searching of our souls — the signs kept pointing toward a new adventure awaiting us in Colorado. Our hearts kept telling us that doubts would always come. Fears would always arise. But if we waited until all things aligned and all answers were found, we’d never follow the nudge we felt over a year ago.
After we sell our house, we plan to start a new chapter in Colorado Springs — just south of Denver. Lindsay will be the face of Fishhook out West, helping to continue the work of her company and building their own Colorado marketing presence out west.
Keyhole Marketing will simply be relocating to a new address, still digitally working with small businesses in and out of the state as I’ve always done. And as my current clients already know, I’ll be planning to return to Indiana regularly for face-to-face meetings and photography sessions. Speaking of photography, though it probably goes without saying, I’ll also be keeping my Joetography business going, likely filling your social feeds with images of my surroundings on the regular.
And so there you have it — our journey to moving west and building a new colorado marketing firm. You now know about as much as we know at this time.
If I’m honest, it’s a bittersweet time of life. This is the place that made us into who we are now and who we’ll be taking with us then. It’s where we were married, and where we nearly got divorced. Where we adopted our son, and lost two other adoptions. Where we made and lost good friends. Where we found and left good jobs.
None of that evolution will be forgotten.
And at the same time, we feel ready to take this step away from the familiar and predictable and into the unknown, trusting there will be a place to situate our foot. At times, much about it doesn’t seem logical. And at other times, it all feels entirely normal.
We will miss you all very much and hope we always stay in touch after we leave. In the meantime, let’s hang out before we go. Let’s talk life. Let’s talk business. And let’s dream about you visiting us soon once we get settled there.
There’s perhaps no better way to close this out than this poem by my wife, encapsulating the journey that led us to this moment.
Being unsettled in the settled city.
Capital of roundabouts and undefeated swim teams.
Of Best Places to Live
And bicycle-friendly and National Gold Medal Parks.
All the marks
of a great place to stick,
raise a family of four point five
and a golden retriever.
It’s not us now.
It’s who we thought we’d be
in the midst of infertility.
grasping for a safe, suburban life.
Twenty four hundred square feet.
The road map to Pleasantville torn.
Four kids lost.
Us pulled apart.
grief pushing heads down
Accepting we were different.
Not destined for Destin,
pilgrimage to Disney,
Answer the call!
Set in our hearts
on our honeymoon
18 year dream
Vision from above,
sent to our friend
to go there to expand
our work, His work,
the kingdom and
— Lindsay Dudeck, June 2018