October is a cruel month. I hate all the pink. But I love the leaves. I love the fall! I hate the reminders of finding cures, being a survivor, etc. I hate that breast cancer is used as a marketing tool. But I love that I have a birthday this month. I absolutely love that I have a birthday this month. For those who knew me "back in the day" (i.e college, which I realize is now becoming a distant memory), well, let's just say I haven't always loved my birthday.
I love that I am close to my family and can see my nephew play soccer, and take him to the museum, and build forts, and do science experiments. I love that I can be close to my amazing and inspiring mother. I love that I can escape to the mountains, the desert and soon the snowy slopes for a stillness I only find in nature. I love that I work in a museum in an amazing community. I love the new people I am fortunate to meet. I love that I have great friends who have laughed and cried through many moments of life. I love that I get to have great conversations with my brothers. I love that I have made monumentally bad decisions this year. I love that I can finally say that I am grateful for the things I have learned this year. I wouldn't want to repeat the specifics of it all. Ever. But, it is my life. And I love it.
One of the most liberating things about this year has been that I have (hopefully) discarded the tendency to look into the future too far. Or think in terms of the way things "will be." Or "should be." Or even "could be." I am still very hopeful, but this photo is what it's all about. It's just about the journey. It is the one million small things along the way that make the journey what it is. It is the views from the trail that make it worth sharing the story. Sure, the view from Angel's Landing is amazing. But no one tells the story of when they are hanging around at the top. The story is in the harrowing experience going up (and coming back down!). It's the sheer drop offs that people who hike it talk about. As it should be. But equally noteworthy to the harrowing drama is the time you take a nap on some random red rock, soaking up the sun. A nice summer evening eating Aggie ice cream. Hiding in the same places over and over again just because your nephew wants to play hide and seek and there's only so many places you fit in your apartment. Sitting and just talking with your mom. These are the million things that make our lives--from the harrowing to the humdrum. It won't matter what happens in that future we all seem to be so worried about, because the point is really in the journey.
My health is great. It was a rocky year. But one small moment after another, I am realizing for all the things that I had to let go of this year, I am turning 34 this month.
And I am really excited about that!