2016: A Year to Remember

2016 will always be a special year to me. It will always be the year I kayaked my first river-South Fork of the American. The year I learned how to grow a plentiful garden. The year I moved to California. The year I learned to surf. The year I celebrated my Golden Birthday with some of the greatest people I know. The year I took a step back from everything I had known and made the decision to seek out a new way of life. The year I felt the most alive, as if I had been reborn, making a year full of firsts. New places, new people, and an abundance of new challenges. With every challenge came a new perspective.

New perspectives have created a whole new outlook on life for me. Both seeing and being the highest of the high to the lowest of the low, each experience humbling in it’s own way. Compassion for the world and all it’s inhabintants grows each time a new perspective is understood.

Hopes are high for 2017 and I look forward to the new challenges, moments of joy, and moments of stillness. 2017 offers more rivers to be run, friends to connect with, places to be seen, and compassion to be shared. 2017 begins with a move to Washington, one of the most beautiful places I could imagine, as soon as the weather gives so we can begin our journey back.

Cheers to another trip around the sun!

10 years from now…

A few months before I left for college, my dad asked me to write down where I think I’ll be in 10 years.  Because I had no idea what I was going to be doing and the idea of thinking about it made me cringe, I gave a poor, sarcastic, joke for an answer that he was not impressed with.  So to give a better answer, I’ll just tell a story about the night we decided to go to Pretty Lights.

A perfect example of how plans never seem to matter is the Pretty Lights adventure. A few friends and I made plans to go see Pretty Lights in the Bay Area.  With one of our buddies flying out of San Francisco the following day, it all seemed too good.  We began our road trip south, jamming to music, getting stoked for the show when impromptu, the Range (our new-to-us car) decided we would go no further.  Broke down on the side of the 101, we were unsure of what the next move was. We scrambled up hills to reach service, hitched a ride to town for any kind of help. Turned out, our car was going nowhere, unless on a tow truck.  The next day we would have to figure out how to get our dear friend to the airport so he could begin his own adventures in Chile. We were pretty bummed, and totally unsure of how we were going to get our buddy to the airport but somehow ended up making the best of the situation.

We had planned on an epic night of Pretty Lights in the Bay Area in our nice hotel when in reality, we ended up sleeping in tents, stranded in a redwood forest.  The show went on, our hotel room sat empty, as we huddled and giggled around a campfire, underneath towering redwoods, hiding from the rain. The next day, another good friend came to the rescue and continued the journey south to get our friend to the airport while Cody and I dealt with the Range.

This adventure showed me that my plans mean so little; therefore, it would be so silly of me to think I could even have the slightest clue as to where I will be in 10 years.  But this adventure also showed me that even when plans do not go accordingly, that does not mean the day is ruined. Most of the time, the greatest of adventures are not planned. The happiest of moments are not planned. I do know that what comes of a situation is based on your outlook and the people you are surrounded by.  Luckily, in the case of Pretty Lights, I was with some awesome people and it turned out to be a pretty memorable night. This adventure mishap, along with so many other mishaps that occurred in the past several months have always prevailed in working themselves out, no matter how astray from the original plan things got.

I cannot tell you where I will be because in most cases I’m not even sure where I will be next week or tomorrow for that matter. Nor what exactly I will be doing because I’m sure opportunities will arise that I do not even know exist.

What I can say with confidence, is that in 10 years I plan to be happy.  I plan to be surrounded by people I love.  I plan to be doing the things that bring joy to my life.