It's as if I blinked, and you were gone. Just a vivid figment of my imagination. Twelve months of what felt like a slow crawl came and went like a lucid dream in the night.
But I wasn't dreaming. You were real. Everything I felt, it was real too.
January brought a new year that I was a bit anxious for. A year of goals, of hopes and dreams and aspirations. I spent the month preparing and making lists and by the time February arrived, what I wasn't prepared for was the disappointment that would come following an early climax.
February was a huge celebration for me. One year. 365 days. The biggest milestone I'd reached in my sobriety. And celebrate I did. My one year birthday was spent scouring the Pacific Northwest.
A serendipitous retreat among the mossy trees near Oregon's coastline.
An inn on the beach in Manzanita.
And it was PERFECT. Honestly. Not a single hiccup. Not a single let-down. It was as if the universe was applauding me and granting me the serenity I'd been seeking all at once. I made plans to change the world that trip. There were so many more mountains that needed scaling. And I was going to take them all on in one fell swoop.
I'd forgotten one thing. How important the ascent was. The climb that I'd spent the last 365 days achieving. Suddenly I was convinced that I could move those mountains. But superpowers were something sobriety had not given me.
In my effort to find that superhero cape I joined a gym.
Titan Fitness gave me a newfound confidence that I'd been lacking for almost a decade. Gym friends became family. My body started to change. I'd found a new schedule. Something I'd always wanted. A schedule. Intermittent fasting scheduled my eating. Set classes at the gym scheduled my days. I was invincible.
I used my new strength to try and perfect my running. I would run the trifecta of Spokane half marathons in 2018 and in my mind, it would be easy.
The first was. An uphill battle on a cold April morning resulted in 15 minutes shaved off my original personal record. I was proud. I was ready for the next a short five weeks later.
The second half marathon of 2018 should have been just as easy (a flat course in perfect weather with five months of training under my belt).
It wasn't. I didn't get that PR. And that's when I realized I wasn't invincible. This year was going to continue to take work. In order for goals to happen, I was going to have to keep climbing.
There was still some house cleaning to do. A few toxic souls still wandering in and out of my life. Expectations. Greediness. Jealousy. I trimmed the weeds completely in 2018 to make room for new growth.
I had to say goodbye to old comforts. My old Subaru being the farewell that impacted me the most.
But that meant saying hello to a new one. And learning that change can sometimes be a good thing. So much of 2018 was spent in a new comfort zone that I'd created for myself. A security blanket of sobriety and safety and scheduling.
Still unaware of how to find new firsts to tackle I started to find extreme joy in watching others tackle their own.
My Dad ran his first Bloomsday with me this year, among other races. And we ziplined through the Coeur d'Alene National forest like two birds of a feather.
In the meantime, I was on a mission to find a guy just as cool as my pops to spend time with. And my adventures in dating ensued.
I failed. Miserably. Again realizing that things weren't going to just start happening overnight. Love was also going to take work. I was also realizing that maybe I still wasn't ready to find it. My time was valuable. And I loved my dog more.
So it was back to what I was used to. Adventures.
Camping at Farragut with my favorites.
Crystal Peak Fire Lookout with my best friend.
A Montana trip to remember.
Abercrombie Mountain with my favorite adventure buddy.
Diablo Lake, Hidden Lake & Mount Vernon with the Fam.
The Ebb Tide Retreat with Dad.
A Montana Airstream with my pup.
All magical. All fulfilling. Just not in the way I was hoping. Something was missing. That emptiness was still there. And the year was almost over.
Then there was that third race. I didn't PR. But something grand happened that day that flipped the switch for me. I crossed that finish line.
I'm right where I'm supposed to be. Be it a walk, a jog, a run or a slow crawl. I'm moving FORWARD. I was so close to giving up on myself. So close to allowing the disappointment to seep in. When if you step back...if you look at the big picture you'll see...
LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL.
I love being sober. But it doesn't make me superhuman. It makes me HUMAN. I'm feeling things like I've never felt before. I'm finding I have to schedule my days in order to be successful. And sometimes that means saying no to those I love. But if they love me too, they'll understand. I don't have time for nonsense. The clock is ticking. And if this year is any indication of how fast life passes us by, I've got to use each second wisely. We all do.
So I've saturated my time with my closest friends. With my amazing family.
An Alpaca Farm to celebrate my amazing Mom.
My first Niners game with my Tawny and her family.
Daily adventures with the pup I hold so dear.
And cherishing every moment I have with my 16-year-old Thomasita who reminds me every day how precious this short life truly is.
And looking back, I truly was giving my all to you 2018. And you gave your all to me in return.
I plan on scaling more mountains in the year to come. But if I don't reach the summit, I'm okay with that.
In the words of Miley..."It's all about the climb."