So I realize this is me posting (again!) after I said that I was done for a while... but I'm a writer and quite frankly I feel so full of gratitude right now that I feel like if I don't get it out somehow I will explode. I don't know where to start... so I suppose I will start at a logical point: the beginning.

I have always been a fortunate person, I'm well aware of that. Even my surgery seems so minor in the grand scheme of things and the possibilities of what's out there. I've had bad days, weeks, and months. For someone who really can't quite complain, I admit that compared to other points of my life, 28 wasn't exactly superb for me. I wont get into detail but it was sort of a crappy year... likely my least favorite since I can remember. It got to feel like things were never going to get better, but I have been blessed with a sort of moronic optimism and so no matter how crappy things got or how disappointed I became, I always knew that the scales would eventually tip. I knew that it was a phase of my life that I was meant to learn from and so I begrudgingly took each obstacle as an opportunity to learn. Sometimes life's lessons are pretty impossible to see until you get through the crappiest part of them, after which you're like "Oh! I totally GET why that was there!"

When I hit 29, it was literally almost like the floodgates opened. I woke up, on my birthday, in Costa Rica. My sister surprised me by taking me to get a full body massage and then we spent the day eating and laying on the beach. And maybe it was CR that changed me- but I came home a different person. I have been more relaxed, for the most part, and accepting and trusting of what my life was going to put in front of me. Literally since the day I turned 29, life has become dramatically better. And even though I feel sort of dizzy by it all, I feel so much more fulfilled than I ever did when I spent all my time looking for life... now that I'm sitting patiently and letting it find me. I've been hiking a few times a week and I feel stronger than ever, physically as well as spiritually. Finding a physical activity that I love while getting some sunshine has turned hiking into my new passion. I've also been spending more time with some very supportive and fun friends, which has been totally rewarding for me- emotionally. There was a span of time there where I think I put a lot of effort into maintaining friendships with people who weren't reciprocating... and while I still love those people and want to include them in my life- I am now allowing our lives to move in the directions they naturally flow to (whether that's apart or together). I think that's a healthy reaction to change that has really allowed me to spend more time enjoying people who make me feel appreciated and loved. I also got a second job working for a magazine called NiteGuide, and it's afforded me some incredible opportunities. Somehow I have been lucky enough to not only go to shows to see some amazing bands play- but I'm getting paid to do it. And I don't mean to brag about it but in all honesty I have zero idea how I got so lucky. I am quite literally at a loss. Now they're having me do photography for them as well as crediting me as Junior Copy Editor. The irony in it is that I initially signed up to do this as a fun little side project, and it never occurred to me that it would actually go anywhere. My editor has been incredibly supportive of the things I've done so far and the entire experience is just so humbling to me, particularly after understanding what it's like to feel a bit ignored for hard work in more areas than I'll get into. I just feel... so... lucky.

The thing about situations like this, including my life for the past year, is that I know it's quite possibly only temporary. Life is undeniably short, and it's easy to get so caught up in the "what's next" that sidelines of now start to blur as you run past. So perhaps that's why 28 happened, so that I could appreciate 29 as much as I really DO. Every time I get an assignment to write something- big or small- I get beyond excited. Every time my editor says something supportive it makes me way more happy than a normal person would be. Spending hours laughing with my best friends makes me feel like the luckiest person on Earth, and when I hike my trails it makes me feel strong and capable. I want to savor it, I want to appreciate it. And if it all ended tomorrow, I want to bow out gracefully and as filled with the experience as possible.

Right now is a great time to live in the Now.

...And for anyone having a rough 28, or 22, or 35... it gets better. I promise.

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