Your early 20s: the perfect age for dating clichéd men and women in order to learn valuable life lessons. There's the tatted-up rebel, the doofy jock, the pretentious hipster, the real-life cowboy... oh, was that last one just me? I’ll start from the beginning.
At the time, I was an uninspired beauty editor in NYC looking to discover beauty in something bigger. I craved more excitement, creative fodder, passion. In my time of ambivalence, I fell for the pursuits of my best friend of eight years, Jack, who had moved out to Wyoming to live life as a wrangler. A long-distance relationship with a guy working on a dude ranch two timezones away? My naïveté never shied from the impractical. We decided to give it a go.
When I visited Jack out in Wyoming, I was awestruck by the idyllic scenery and notion of it all, and dutifully walked around with a notebook and pen the whole time. Times Square has nothing on the ripple and sprawl of the badlands. Perhaps I’ll move here, mused my 23-year-old self. I could become the next Annie Proulx. I could ride my horse to breakfast each morning. Jack would be my cowboyfriend and we would have a perfect life together.