Getting Over Vivian
by Jill Carstens

Getting Over Vivian by Jill Carstens
Navigating the loss of a Colorado home.

Jill Carstens developed her identity as a child running through the vacant fields of the neighborhood where her parents built their house on Vivian Street within a stone’s throw of Colorado’s front range. 

It was an unspoken assumption that they would live happily on Vivian Street forever. But it is lost and so is she, at the age of 16, by an ugly divorce. Carstens and her brother are evicted from the only life they know, displaced on unexpected detours.

“Soon the only role my brother and I seem to have is to stretch ourselves, impossibly, like tightropes, spanning the frustrating distance between our parents’ new houses.”

Yet if it weren’t for that exodus, she might not have set off to find new places of belonging. Her searching validates her notion that place does matter. And that finding a community within those places is vital. As Carstens’ journey evolves, she faces continued loss while Denver goes through a disruptive gentrification.

Eventually, through milestones and adventures, using her lens of perpetual self-reflection, she will discover unlikely coordinates, places that begin to connect, creating junctions leading to a new life-map.
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Getting Over Vivian
by Jill Carstens
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