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Holiday Reflections

It is a week until Christmas Eve. A week until I make moves to go see my family. Thankfully it is only a 3ish hour drive to my mom’s house, so nothing crazy travel wise. Leaving Zack behind and not getting to spend Christmas with him makes me sad. His job doesn’t allow for travel at the holidays, or much of anything else beyond work 100% of the time, so I suck it up. I wish it was different, and one day in the future it will be, but right now it makes me sad. Mostly sad because I like having him around, and being the first Christmas without my dad, I wish I could have him with me. Just for little things, like holding my hand or something.

I want to be in the holiday spirit, and some moments I am, but other times I just find it to be too much. Too much traffic. Too much of a hassle. Too much worry over “will this fit them?” Or “Will they like it” or other things along those lines. Christmas has just turned into a pissing match. Who can spend the most on things that people don’t actually need? What I need is some time with people. Time to sit and chat about the year. Time to share a meal that we made together. Time to laugh and cry if necessary. To just appreciate one another over some cookies and coffee or tea. I want to reconnect. To know you guys and who you’ve become this year is all I actually want for Christmas. Just had a thought about how excited I am to stand around my sisters kitchen and eat her homemade cheese straws and talk about nothing. Or sit around my other sisters living room and watch my niece run around babbling in her 2 year old language while the rest of us eat flavored goat cheese on crackers and share a bottle of wine from my brother-in-law’s vineyard. I can’t wait. I just long to have Zack by my side to do all the things. But alas, life doesn’t work that way.

2018 didn’t turn out to be the year I wanted it to be. Dad died at the end of February, and while things were going really well up until that point, it obviously caused a rift in the rest of the year. Dealing with him being gone has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Mind you, I’ve still got 3 grandparents, and the 4th I never knew, so I haven’t been burdened with the emotions of death in my close family, ever. I don’t know if I am doing it right, and I know there is no right, so either way I guess I am. Either way it is my journey, and I will do what I have to do, because it is all I can do. Each day is a new day, a new experience, like no other day.

I want to make 2019 about exploring and adventure. I want my relationship to grow. I want to focus on living my life, doing better for myself daily, and continuing to make my father proud. I struggle so much with focusing on myself. I have moments where it is all I do, and my yoga practice is on point, my stress is low, I’m writing daily, and putting forth great efforts to love and take care of myself. And this year it has been the biggest struggle. I’m ready to take that power back (even though it never left) and cultivate it into something. Nothing perfect, just something better. And I am promising myself now, in this moment, that I am worth so much to myself that I will take the time, listen to my body, expand my mind, and generally just focus on bettering myself. I’ve been a huge factor in my own isolation this year, and I’m not like that usually. Sure I’ve been dealing with some shit, but it is up to me to end the isolation. I don’t need it for any reason, and spending this time alone, away from friends, family, and Zack has been necessary I guess in some way. I needed a retreat. I’m done retreating. Being social and active again is necessary. Being a functioning person in the world! Motivated and alive again. It has been long enough. I get now why people back in the day would be in mourning for so much time. Years may have been a bit too much, but I completely understand the reasoning.

So, 2019 a year of adventure and excitement. A year dedicated to bettering myself. A year dedicated to not being a hermit all the time. A year dedicated to accepting the world as it is, myself included, and doing my best to make it better. Whatever that looks like!

I sincerely wish you all the best, whomever you are. A new year of promise! Love! Life! Beauty! And everything that comes with it. ❤

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“Climb Every Mountain

Forde every stream! Follow every rainbow, til you find your dream. ” ~The Sound of Music

 

I am a mountain girl. I live at the beach now, but I was born in the elevation and I often hear those stacks of granite calling my name. Earlier this summer I went to the Pacific Northwest and did a lot of exploring in nature. Growin up on the East Coast, our mountains and coastline look drastically different. Our mountains are much older and thus much smaller. Being up high in Hurricane Ridge was terrifying to me. I have a heights issue, weird I know. But the climbing is exhilarating. Terrifying at times, but I think it is more about the effort, the challenge.

I am not a star athlete or anything similar. I have a decent amount of strength and flexibility and I don’t mind walking long distances, so hiking is decent fun to me. If the hill is steep I will take breaks as needed. If there are bugs I will spray my body. If it begins to rain, I will get wet. I think now that my life is so much different, I feel more connected to the earth. I’m doing my best to stay grounded and still explore. I think that’s another reason the mountains call out to me. The provide that grounding and great exploration.

Zack has inspired me. He does a pretty epic job of it regularly, but one thing he’s accomplishing is a pretty big goal. Visit all 50 states by the time he’s 30. And we’re going to his last 3 of the main 48 next week. It is the first time we’re going to travel together beyond a short car ride. I’m excited! Beyond being excited I am using his example to have a life goal. Not accomplished by a specific age, but a life goal. I want to visit all of the National Parks. I was going to say the National Forests, but there’s like 150 of those compared to 60 parks. Of course I’ve been to a few already, but on par with Zack–in order for you to have been to that state you have to eat there–so in order for me to get credit for my National Park, I have to have a picture with the sign. Seems only fair.

It’s weird. I have this epic need to travel and see things. Even if it is just local travel. I’ve been doing my hermit shit since Dad died and I think I’m ready to take on the world. I’m moving forward with my career goals. I’m working on the PhD application process. I applied for an award to see if I can get funding to do some research. If I don’t get the funding I’m still going to write it, but I won’t be able to visit the countries and use the sources. That just makes it harder. But I want to see things. I love the idea of having roots, and being able to bounce around and come back to the familiar. I also always wanted someone to travel with and have experiences with. Seems I may have found one. 🙂

So, next week when we go to Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont there will be some hiking in the White Mountains. It is not a national park, but a forest, and the views are apparently epic. So as my part of this journey I want to hike. He’s down for it, so we’re going to do it! And I’m excited to plan other adventures to National Parks across the country! Here’s to adventure!

Climb ev’ry mountain
Search high and low
Follow ev’ry by-way
Every path you know
Climb ev’ry mountain
Ford ev’ry stream
Follow ev’ry rainbow
‘Till you find your dream
A dream that will need
All the love you can give
Everyday of your life
For as long as you live
Climb ev’ry mountain
Ford ev’ry stream
Follow ev’ry rainbow
‘Till you find your dream
Climb ev’ry mountain
Ford ev’ry stream
Follow ev’ry rainbow
‘Till you find your dream