Well folks, it’s almost that time again. I’m frantically purchasing travel books, debating overseas data plans, and exchanging currency in between 4th of July parades and practice with the derby girls, camping with my favorite ladies, Dexter binging with Daniel, and planning potential future adventures with Lydia. It has truly been a wonderful summer, full of both needed closure and new experiences. As I sit on the porch this morning enjoying the weird, foggy July we are having in usually-sunny San Diego and preparing for my next grand adventure, I’m overwhelmed by gratitude.
For my mom and dad. I’ve known for most of my life how lucky I am (minus that brief time in nearly everyone’s teenage life where everything, without fail, is somehow “unfair”), but living at home as an adult for the last year has given me a whole new appreciation for what my parents do, and who they are. I don’t have adequate words for everything that my mom is and does, but I’m going to try. My mom is a superhero in plain clothes. She is the glue that hold my family together. She is the one who helps us plan (be it for a dentist appointment, a new project, a trip, or just lunch), supports us unconditionally, worries for us, is excited for us, doctors us, problem solves with (and sometimes for) us. So many days when I’ve become too stressed or anxious to think clearly, she is there to be my head and help me find clarity and simplify things down to manageable pieces, even though I know she has just as much or more stress and anxiety than I do. Whether she’s taking the time out of her day to bring me a lunch at work because I forgot it on the counter, listening to my latest rant about something going on at school and remembering to ask about the result a few days later, or making clean socks magically appear just when I was starting to come to terms with wearing the same pair for a couple more days because I didn’t know when I would find time to do laundry, she is absolutely the reason I function on a day to day basis with any amount of success. My dad works harder than anyone I know to support his family and the world. He undergoes awful, complex frustrations at work. Many nights I’ll get up for water and he’ll be pecking away on the computer in the dark hours of the morning. He researches and continues to be peripherally involved with projects he is no longer being paid to work on, often, because he knows that he alone will stick to his guns and do the right thing, even when it isn’t easy or cost effective. He makes the world a better, safer, cleaner place every day even though his efforts often are unappreciated at best and resented at worst. Watching both him and mom and has taught be to have a strong resolve to do the right thing and not give up until I know there is nothing more I can do.
For my friends, both old and new. It’s a been a good summer for friends, between visiting Nick and helping (kind of) put together his apartment in Culver City; making a dueling piano version of “Let it Go” happen with Jeremy and co at the Shouthouse; camping out on Julia’s trampoline with Mikalonis for some supreme bird watching on the Salton Sea (We saw a flamingo!); holding my breath with Bri, David, and Daniel during Game of Thrones; rock climbing with Josh; taking a quick (and much needed) ladies-only backpacking adventure with Brooke, Hayli, and Summer; skating around oceanside with Richard; tagging along to work with Hayli for some karaoke; barbecuing with Taylor and Calvin; trying to touch base abroad with Jayme, Dan, and Val; hard root beer on the beach with Brooke; practicing thinking clearly and taking a step back thanks to Barb; planning extensive trips abroad with my sister; and playing phone tag with Paige, Kaley, and Theadora. Thank you for amusing me, adventuring with me, supporting me, sympathizing with me, scolding me, waving different flags than me, hurting with me, celebrating with me, and reminding me that we all have so much to offer this world.
For Daniel. We’ve been through quite a bit in the last eight months, and I am eternally grateful for the support, patience, laughs, and love that he provides. Even though he has an insane amount of obligations between multiple jobs and getting ready for paramedic school, he always tries to make time to show me that I matter too. I know how difficult it can be to maintain a relationship with a person who has such an advanced case of wanderlust, and I’m so grateful that he doesn’t try to get in the way or make me choose, even if he isn’t always happy with the choices I make. I’m so excited to see where the future takes us, darlin.
For derby and my HCDG girls. I saw a post on facebook recently from Bonnie D. Stroir that said “Most seem to find roller derby in transitional periods…we ruin our bodies to save our souls, and for some reason that makes perfect sense.” This was absolutely true for me (although I think that weird transition period may finally be coming to a close, or at least mellowing out a little). I don’t really understand how spending so much time wondering how I ended up on the ground leads to greater mental and emotional stability, but it does. You girls give me so much, whether it’s an ear when I’m struggling with something, a body to hit with my full force, a gnarly street skate, a speed drill so I can improve endurance and maybe get some sleep that night, a hip check, a reality check, or a hug. I appreciate you all so, so much.
For my co-workers and students, who keep me perpetually curious and excited to learn.
For where I live, and my community, that I have grown to appreciate so much more living here as an adult.
For the opportunities that have presented themselves over my lifetime.
For commas and semicolons, since this post seems to include them in excess.
For the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m running towards something instead of away. Things are feeling so much more settled (but not stagnant) and I think everything is really progressing in a way that I can be happy with. I’m almost regretful that I’ll be leaving right now, right when I finally have found a level of contentment, but I have some really exciting stuff to look forward to abroad and upon my return. I’ll update early next week with details about Greece and the rest of the trip!
Thanks for all you do and all you are,