I think of my life in seasons rather than in years. It makes more sense that way.
I think this past life season for me has been a lesson in learning not to settle. Relationships--both friendships and romantic--should be fulfilling, encouraging, honest, and should make you feel capable. They don't need to be measured by the amount of conflict, but rather, by the manner in which that conflict is dealt with.
Gravitate towards work that develops and brings out your greatest strengths.
You can always be more kind.
And most of all, if you're settling for things that are half-hearted, you're exemplifying that to others.
Really, life is way too short to feel obligated to stay in something that isn't making you better. I don't think problems are black and white, but I do think that happiness should be placed as a higher importance than a lot of people make it.
All of these things are growing into my bones and though I've got a long way to go, I've felt like there can be major progress in the most trying of times. I feel like I've climbed out of that trying-ness, and oh, I can't even tell you how in love with life I've been lately, because I'm not even sure there are enough words to tell you how beautiful it's been. There have been moments in the past month that I will come back to when I'm feeling the absence of home and am drained from overcrowded cities and too little wildness.
Lately I've had slow cooked meals, long conversations with lots of laughter, and sunny cups of coffee in the morning; the previous night's wine bottles still left on the patio table.
I've walked barefoot on bright moss and curled up in trees shaped like hammocks to be closer to the water and to listen to the movement.
I've driven through clouds of mountain bluebirds, stirred up from the meadows and found pieces of home in people's conversations and actions.
I've walked through forests of trees-blackened and burnt by flame, but still standing and creaking with the wind.
I've watched waterfalls and read hundreds of book pages, and have sat on hills in the middle of rainstorms, watching the cumulus clouds form, growing dark and heavy.
I've run on trails through fields of wildflowers in alpine meadows, looking over great mountain ranges while mud jumps up behind my heels.
I'm just not sure that I can conceivably explain the excitement I feel...that everything seems to be just beginning; the start of something I can't wrap my head around because it's too large and intertwined to separate out. It's a large intersection of collected moments that are carrying me into another life season with more lessons learned and a couple more lines around my eyes.
I'm off to follow the yellow highway veins to giant glass cities and then onto places where the redwoods grow. There are some amazing things in the works.