I wrote the following text to today in response to what I learned about myself in Uganda:
“I figured out that I’m much stronger than I thought I was. And that I’m meant for more than the expectations America places on life. But figuring out how I fit, well, I’m still figuring that out. I live in the tension between running towards travel and adventures, and being content with where I’m at”.
I look at that text and I’m at peace with it. At peace with the tension between the two spaces in my head and heart. That tension seemed to play out over 2015 in travels and relationships in wonderfully unexpected ways.
A lot of things worked this year, so this year’s roundup is a list of those things and the people who helped make them work. In no particular order…
REI – Melissa Turner and the entire staff at the Perimeter store. They have become family to me, and have brightened so many of my days. What started as just a job to pay for my trip to Iceland has become home to me. One of the best things that happened to me in 2015.
Dating – Jillian for being an encourager of all the dating stories; Keitha for keeping me focused on what I want; Kristen for having hope when I had none; and Nana for always reminding me that she’s praying for my future person.
First attempt at Backpacking – Rose. And that Colorado view wasn’t a bad place to have your first backpacking experience. Plus, Colorado!
Keeping the spirit of adventures and travels alive and for making me not feel like I’m crazy for constantly want to leave – Randy
Trying 35 new things during this 35th year of life – Marsali
Being reminded that love exists, thrives, and wins – Seth and Rob, and Anna and Joseph
Taking a chance, even when your palms are sweaty and you aren’t exactly sure what you’re doing – Brianne, for bringing up Machu Picchu
Taking a day off work during the middle of the week just because- Anna, my boss, Jerri.
Trying new things – David, for suggesting sci fi books and marvel movies even when I’m sure I won’t like them, but then serendipitously love them
Discovering new things about old friends – Anne Marie. And the entirety of our Iceland trip.
Keeping Uganda an active part of my life – Sydney, Brin, Rose, and Hannah
Hipster Tendencies – my buffalo plaid shirt, old man glasses, and ponce city market for keeping the tendencies strong this year. And also, every many with a beard.
Long distance relationships – Rhyan, Rose, and Hannah for reminding me that no matter how much time has passed, we can still pick up where we left off.
Short distance relationships – Jillian, Kristen, and Julie for reminding me that no matter how much time has passed, we can still pick up where we left off
Saying “nope” to invitations – Anne Marie.
My continuing education of love – watching my grandfather love my grandmother during her last days, watching my mom feed her mom during her last days, my brother and Siri
Uncomfortable conversations – every ex dating partner from the year
Hope – every ex dating partner from the year
Selfies – Bayan
Writing blog posts – although not entirely consistent, I did write more this year, and met people along the way who encouraged, and appreciated my words. So, to those people, I say thank you.
Kept moving – I have the beltline and my ever expanding waistline to thank for the nudge to keep moving even when I really didn’t want to.
Reading my bible – God. I have a renewed thirst for wanting to learn more about Him. It’s been a wavering feeling I’ve had since moving back here. But it’s back…and I find myself picking up where I left off in reading through the bible chronilogically. And engaging in conversations with people about Him. Excited to see where this one goes…
Being okay by myself – I have really come to not only be okay with being by myself, but to enjoy it, most of the time. I have the last 5 or 6 years of my journey, and everyone that was in those years, to thank because I think over the last few years I’ve come to not only like myself, but really love who I’ve become. So, when I’m alone, I don’t have those thoughts of fear and doubt and regret sneak in and take up space like they used to. Plus, it’s easy to be alone when you have netflix. Hashtag I netflix and chill by myself in pajamas and with a face mask on
Be more open to life happening – I said “yes” to more invitations that made me uncomfortable and dates with men who were very different from what I thought I wanted, and in every instance I realized I was happy that I took that step. I’d like to continue to say “yes” to life happening. I’d also like to not overthink things as much. But, that’s another post. Or actually, it probably never be one because that’d mean I’d have to be more open than I want. So, let’s just call this one “being more open to life happening, unless it requires me to be vulnerable”. Except, I want to be better at being vulnerable. Hashtag the vulnerability curse
Outdoor adventures – my REI family, Rose, the movie “A long start to the Journey”, Georgia trails, my dog Page
So much happened in 2015, and I’d probably have a more extensive list if I wrote things down as they happened, and the people that helped make them happen. But, alas, I didn’t. So we’re left with what my memory serves me with.
I’m closing out 2015 well. And, with a hopeful heart for the things and adventures to come in 2016. Whatever it is you’re wanting for this next year, I want that for you, too. So, cheers to you and yours and the hope of what is to come! And world peace. Because we definitely need that.