Why I Was Wrong To Hate On Las Vegas

“Buy the ticket, take the ride.”
— Hunter S. Thompson
A little bit of Las Vegas: me imitating Ramsay, the Flamingo, a glimpse of the Fremont Experience, and gorgeous urban art in Downtown Las Vegas.

A little bit of Las Vegas: me imitating Ramsay, the Flamingo, a glimpse of the Fremont Experience, and gorgeous urban art in Downtown Las Vegas.

I came to Las Vegas kicking and screaming. I threw a temper tantrum that lasted approximately three months, and let me tell you, my husband though it was HOT. It really made my marriage ah-mazing. 

I came here kicking and screaming because of several reasons: it was my first relocation as a military spouse and I was being taken away from my precious Colorado, the place I called home for the past 12 years in addition to on and off for my whole life. The bigger reason wasn't so much as what I was leaving as where I was going. I was raised by very moral people who hold a black and white view of right and wrong. I am grateful for that and I think it kept me out of deeper degrees of trouble when I was trying on the careless rebel hat (now I'm a rebel who cares), but when it came to my idea of Las Vegas, what I held in my head was their incredibly effective "What Happens In Vegas" marketing campaign to get people out here and behave inconsequentially. 

Though this city is certainly referred to as Sin City for very good reasons, I didn't know that once I arrived here and stopped my martyr-fueled self-pity campaign some amazing things would happen. Amazing things like:

  1. I Am Around Wealth. Being raised with highly moral people who were not accustomed to wealth, I absorbed the schema that wealth is on par with evil. Through years of mentorship, therapy and very specific energy work, I realized that wealth is not evil. In fact, I aspire to have financial freedom and wealth. Then I had to do some deep diving and look at my perceptions of my own value. Then I had to work on untangling my unworthiness stories. After that, I could sit down and free write about what financial freedom and wealth looks like to me. In my day-to-day life, I am in situations where I see what wealth looks like to other people. I can talk to them and see what they did, why they did it and what the fruits of their labor looks like. To one douche bag, the fruits of his labor is a Lamborghini with a vanity plate that says "Unemployed" which made me yell out loud an expletive. To other people, wealth looks like a horse property on the edge of town where quiet rides can be taken in one of the random oasis' here.
  2.  I Am Around Opportunity. I loved Colorado Springs. But I was struggling. I was working in vain to make a business work that just wasn't. It was motivated by fear and survival and even when I started creating it, my heart wasn't completely there. I was working mostly from home and would occasionally go out to gatherings with other entrepreneurs, but it all felt like a grind; there was zero ease to the prospect. There also were no jobs that I would be a good fit for. Fast forward to Las Vegas and I have a job that not only am I good fit for, but a job that I LOVE, that gets me out of the house, dressing up and going into the office and being a total #girlboss. I get to be creative, strategic and I'm still around entrepreneurs and am in a position where I can help grow this company as much or as little as I want. I am fulfilled. I am contributing to the bills. I am able to get my hair did whenever the hell I want. I know that every day brings a new chance encounter and I wake up invigorated and inspired   to show up as my best self to make the most of whatever opportunity that chance encounter is going to grant me.
  3. I Am In A Place That Is Whatever I Want It To Be. This is indeed a city that invites you to indulge your vices, to be sure. The id is rampant here; you can go shoot machine guns at a range inside a strip club You can gamble all your money away. You can rent a luxury car and   live quite literally in the fast lane. You can present yourself as anyone you want to be here. It   goes for the super-ego as well. I've been able to integrate incredible discipline into my life since moving here. Getting up early means not so much drinking. Showing up as my best self for unknown but inevitable opportunities means meditating on what "best self" means and then taking deliberate steps to become the woman that I want to be. I have to set intentions every day to be present and focused, to not be derailed and see all the amazing opportunity surrounding me. I also have learned how to make this city fun. There is hiking and outdoors. There are amazing farmer's markets. Craigslist is a veritable treasure trove of hardly used goodies (my camera was almost sinfully cheap) and if you know which sales racks to go to, you can get designer clothing for 15% of the regular price (let me know in the comments if you would like me to share my shopping skillz specifics and information here). 

There is magic in the desert. There is magic in this strange little city full of millionaires and misfits. There is magic in the lights of the strip and those who conceived of this city in the first place. 

There is magic where you are. And where I am. Just look.