So, it has been almost a year since I last wrote here.
Apologies for the radio silence, but one of the benefits of my absence is that I can catch you up on the broadest strokes of the last almost-year quicker than if it were parceled out line by line over time and muddied up in the details.
That said, in the time since you last heard from me…
I visited 10 national parks (and have one more already lined up for the end of September).
I changed jobs (professional copywriter over here, heyyyy).
I moved twice (well, almost. I’m moving for the second time this week).
I traveled with family to familiar places and explored new states.
I met and totally fell for my wonderfully deep and insatiably adventurous boyfriend.
I hiked in Yosemite alone.
I took a calligraphy class.
I watched the sunset from a San Clemente parking lot.
I captured a ton of photographs (and posted some on Instagram).
I tried Pilates and learned I love Bodhi especially. (Thanks Chrissie!)
I walked around Downtown LA looking for graffiti.
I picked boysenberries in Clovis with my best friend.
I hiked in the Narrows of Zion National Park (without any of the proper gear).
I watched fireworks over the 6th Street Bridge before they demolished it.
I saw not one, but two baseball games, and both times, cheered for the visiting team.
I devoured deep-fried pineapple with my brothers at the county fair.
I started and finished a large macrame wall hanging.
I brunched with Lady Gardner (my proper firecracker of a grandmother).
I watched the sunrise over Bryce Canyon National Park.
I saw a miracle happen with the health of a friend of mine.
I threw darts in my living room, and my roommate and I mastered balanced nutrition over corn dogs and tortilla chips because “we’re adults!”.
I biked across the Golden Gate Bridge and then on to Tiburon (we didn’t realize how far it really was).
I ate tacos on Tuesdays.
I celebrated birthdays and watched my high school girls transition into their junior year.
I threw one helluva fiesta for one of my dear friends with some of my other dear friends.
I climbed Salvation Mountain, realized how painful a walk on the Salton Sea is, and had a coffee date shake, all in one day.
I watched my dear friend marry her forever love.
I walked in thousands of ranunculus flowers on my lunch break.
I turned 26, surrounded by some of my favorite people.
I marveled at my brothers’ humor and challenged them to rounds of Jeopardy. (They’re both brilliant, hilarious, and so handsome)
i discovered my deep and true love for brussel sprouts and Maple Bacon jerky.
I read with my grandfather.
I retreated to Idyllwild with my high school ministry coleaders (if only we’d known the year ahead of us).
I saw Leon Bridges and Dawes and Matt Corby and Wanda Jackson and Foals and Ben Howard and Daughter perform for thousands, and one of my high schoolers serenade an auditorium of a few hundred for her school’s talent show.
I met Ben Howard after his concert.
I watched my brother hit a home run and cheered louder than anyone else in the bleachers, because that’s what big sisters do.
I found a counselor that I really enjoy talking to.
I spent a week on the North Shore (of Oahu) mostly by myself. #7DaysGTV
I drank mai tais half off with my brother near the harbor, and talked about everything you can think of.
I rode on a Duffy boat for the first time.
I made 80+ new friends at the boyfriend’s family reunion in Montana, and colored and learned how to play Sleeping Queens with some of my smaller buddies.
I examined art at the Broad and the Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel galleries.
But it wasn’t all fun and joy and happiness and wanderlust and sunshine…
I also lost my sweet cat, Layla.
I also stayed up very late with my parents and brother, when our other brother’s addiction left us without answers.
I also defended my family against those who shame us for his disease.
I also sat among a team of leaders as we were told that our pastor and friend was being fired, for reasons we still don’t fully understand.
I also learned that churches aren’t perfect, and neither is the leadership that stewards them.
I also was not admitted into the social work graduate school program I applied to.
I also had to give up mac-n-cheese and most other edible morsels of dairy-filled gluteny goodness.
I also explored new depths of my anxiety.
I also had some really hard conversations with people I care about.
I also worried that I was making a wrong choice, that I would fail and ruin my life for good.
I also watched from afar as Paris was attacked, San Bernardino was barraged, Orlando was absolutely littered with bullets, Dallas was ambushed, and countless other tragedies affected our country and our world.
I also sat in silence with friends who had just watched their relationships crumble, because sometimes there isn’t a reason and there’s nothing to be said.
I also prayed hard for a friend as he fought for his life even after his wife was told to prepare to change her title to “widow”.
I also screamed at the top of my lungs when the stress of a commute and a million other little things just couldn’t be contained anymore.
I also panicked over bills that seemed WAY too big.
I also mourned the end of an era and moved out of my parents’ house and my childhood home, and into my first real grown-up, you’re-on-your-own apartment. (I know, I know, it was a long time coming.)
I also questioned and panicked and stressed more than I have in recent memory.
And yet, in the midst of all the high peaks and overwhelmingly tough days and low lows, in all the beauty I appreciated because of the brokenness, I couldn’t bring myself to write. Let me repeat, I am a writer… who couldn’t bring herself to write. Ummmm…
Some days, it was because I was tired from professionally making sentences. Other days, I felt ambiguously uninspired. But more than anything, I just didn’t want to write just for the sake of writing. I didn’t want to reflect just to reflect. And I certainly didn’t want to miss out on any of the previously mentioned experiences—good and bad—because I was introspectively trying to analyze the world around me in the hopes that I may find something to write about.
I didn’t want to be the girl at the concert watching the whole thing through her iPhone screen while recording every minute. I didn’t want to miss the power of the fleeting moments just to keep every tiny detail forever.
This is my first post in nearly a year, and though there is no real reason or point or advice or elevator pitch or pseudo-wisdom to be imparted, just know that I’m happy to be back.
Long time no see.