I’m approaching a giant hurdle this week; Saturday, January 23rd marks a date that would have meant something crazy in another reality, and in this reality will instead initiate a new phase in my life. As I keep heading down this new path, I intend to continue being independent, strong, creative at all possible times, and completely unwilling to settle. In some ways I am eager to have this weekend behind me so that I can truly move forward, but I am also excited to relish the moment and savor every friend and family member who will be standing at my side as Saturday comes and goes.
I was thinking about the upcoming weekend while I walked with Mona through Discovery Park here in Magnolia this morning. The sun was heating my dark hair, my feet, the back and arms of my fleece jacket. The surface of the water below the cliffs we walked across was dark and spotted with white caps, stormy and turbulent but hypnotizing to watch. It was so beautiful in a very Seattle-esque way that I simply had to take a picture and send it to someone I love. Early-morning seaside scenery like that just needs to be shared, right?
We walked on through a large meadow of pale, dry bushes and I let some tall grasses pass through my fingers, thinking about all the times I’d come there feeling sad. There are so many places in this city that used to remind me of worse times, of melancholy times, of the times in my life when I couldn’t find the strength, independence, or creativity to stop myself for settling for something that wasn’t right. In many ways, I feel like I’m taking those places back. Today was one of those days. I wasn’t sad–not even a little bit. Instead, I breathed in the fresh air and chased my dog through the sand like it was the most important item on my agenda for the day. Indeed it might actually have been the most important.
That park is mine now, and the old memories have been eclipsed by fresher, more pleasant ones. I’ve had to be brave, I’ve had to be compassionate, and I’ve had to learn to listen to my gut in the past few months. And from this, I’ve reached places in both my personal life and my writing that I didn’t think were even attainable.
And so, as I followed Mona down a sand dune towards the tide-in beach and crashing waves, I had a single, giddy thought: When I really think back and try to track my moods through the weeks and hours, I find that I’m this happy every day. And in truth it takes so little to accomplish this. The formula is quite simple for me: Good friends, lots of time with my family, cuddles with the dog, a few creative outlets, and lots of cooking. I look forward to making my way through the city I’ve lived in for more than 10 years, reinventing my favorite places using this formula. And I am so very grateful to have all of my favorite people along for the ride, starting this weekend. Never before have I felt like such a lucky girl.
As my dad would say–thanks, y’all.