Perhaps it is appropriate that my end of year recap is [two months] late, as one of the themes I struggled with in 2022 was procrastination.
When I think about to the last year, its easy for me to focus on the struggles, the arguments, the journaling through tears, and wondering what the heck was I was actually doing with my life. But when I strip all that back, I see a year of incredible opportunity.
My year started in Texas, where I soaked up the comforts of home with a clear trajectory to finally pursue a goal I had been chasing for 5 years- to enter a graduate program abroad.
|This photo is NOT Texas. For obvious reasons, most of my most picturesque photos are in NM, not TX.
In January I drove from Texas to Taos to drive down to Santa Fe to shuttle some students up to Colorado for a week long snow-shoe trip. Not being a big fan of winter, I was nervous that I would freeze my ass off. But thanks to the kindness of friends(' winter gear), and the luck of a sun-filled week, I thrived watching students descend an epic snow covered hill on sleds.
|There were some cold nights in Tucumcari, in which I was happy for my van's stove.
|Due to forest closures,
I got to hike here 3 days in a row.
In addition to running, my summer was satiated by gorgeous views of monsoons, long dog walks, high alpine adventures (some with lightning), visits with friends, a river-side wedding, and side explorations with my dog Duck. I spent a very wet weekend backpacking in the mountains, and several days with some amazing kids exploring the Sand Dunes and an amazing waterfall. One of the memorable moments was an emotional evening when my friend Jake and I decided it would benefit us both to be in partnership. :)
|My job is awesome.
As the summer drew to an end, I wasn't really sure what the rest of my year entailed. Having decided in May that I didn't have the financial means to make graduate school a possibility this year (Even in the unlikely event that I got full scholarships), my fall was unexpectedly open. I went home to celebrate my step-grandpa's 90th birthday with my entire incredibly family, and then stuck around to house-sit for my parents and enjoy their luxuries once more. I applied to and got offered a job in Australia, but I have another draft of a blog post about that adventure.
In October, I met some amazing and inspiring high school students from around the world, and walked with them into the Grand Canyon. It was my fourth time at Grand Canyon but my first time descending into the canyon, and it was a spiritual experience. After days of listening to cicadas and speaking entry-level German, we went to Hopi where we were welcomed with wonderful words and energy. The whole week was truly profound, and I felt changed by the experience. Less than a week later I accompanied a rambunctious group of 6th graders to Ghost Ranch and then got to settle into my own bed for a few weeks.
|It WAS grand.
December marked the start of winter, and cold, and me getting covid for the first time, and eating a pot brownie so strong that I was high for days. At the end of the month I got to housesit, and enjoy another wonderful space with luxuries like a gas fireplace, a hot tub, a washer AND dryer and a kitchen that's not shared with half a dozen other people. Then I came home for the holidays and counted down the days until 2023.
Upon reflection-- I spent a lot of time in the mountains. But I also spent a lot of time in the mountains feeling uncomfortable, unsettled, unsure of whether I wanted to continue the work I've done for a decade that takes me to such heights, or if its time to challenge myself in other ways... 2023 so far has proven to guide me.