Day 62 (7/14/16)
3 days, 5 ladies, 40 miles, a million laughs, and infinite feelings of peace.
Day 63 (7/15/16)
These are the nights you want to remember, Sammie. The nights full of warm moments with warm people. Sitting on the front porch of a tent, chatting about the love of your life or nothing at all, welcoming everyone that walks past to join you and realizing, man, I really love these people. Cuddling into your newest best friend’s bed and reading her a thing you wrote about love last year, and her reading you a list of ideas she’s written in the last three years. The laughter spilling from you and echoing off the silence back to you. Realizing you miss these moments already, hoping they don’t stop when we’re not here anymore.
Day 64 (7/16/16)
This is what has been missing: small groups of people who don’t normally hang out doing something fun and talking about anything and everything; ourselves, how the summer is going, sexism, future plans or lack thereof. This is what we always did last year without trying too hard, and that is why we were all so close.
Our fingers are stained purple and blue and our hearts feel lighter knowing someone else knows us a little bit more, sees us for who we really are just a tiny bit more.
Day 69 (7/21/2016)
Laying on our backs, heads on each other’s shoulders, talking about our dreams and soon to be futures, sharing a mug full of red wine, eating pretzels dipped in ranch and drinking heavily chocolated chocolate milk, playing our favorite songs for eachother, looking up ways to be close to one another, planning future weekends. This is how lifelong friendships are forged.
Day 71 (7/23/2016)
Sitting in the car drinking a beer and talking about everything. Everything! Our childhood driveways and when we first started thinking about our weight what we were voted as in high school superlatives and how Alaska makes us better and how religion affects us or doesn’t and how we crave love and how the best people think love is the purpose of our existence.
Day 77 (7/29/16)
She collects books and coffee mugs and rocks and postcards. She collects songs that make her sad and words that make her feel known. She collects laughs that make her smile and eyes that let her see the soul behind them and hugs that make her feel less alone. She collects inside jokes and photographs and sunsets. She collects compliments to say to her reflection in the morning and qualities she wants to work towards. She collects serenity on rainy days and excitement on sunny days. She collects stories from her dad’s childhood and things her mom says. She collects dreams and places to which she wants to travel and names she might want to name her future children. She collects friends that encourage her to be herself and ex boyfriends that teach her about herself. She collects moments; happy moments and sad moments and moments that make her soul flutter with joy and moments that make her want to scream at the top of her lungs and moments that make her feel like she’s living the life she always wanted to live.
Day 79 (7/31/2016)
Alex is the the best kind of person: the kind of person that always says ‘yes’ when you say, “Let’s get the hell out of dodge.” I threw bread, jam, and peanut butter into my bag, she grabbed firewood and chairs, and we were off. We ate pb&js in front of a fire on the Cape of Waikiki. We talked about everything, as we always do: our families, how diverse religion would be if people didn’t feel the need to put everyone in specific and defined boxes, how nice it must feel to feel comfortable in a box, whether the humans that meet the long list of our needs exist.
The sunset created a yellow orange haze that gave each mountain a different darkness of a shadow creating the most beautiful layering effect. Langille was hazy and surreal. Cecil was dark and bold. Round mountain was draped in rose pink. The water was as turqoise as ever.
Nights like these, man. Nights like these make life good and happy and worth it all. Nights like these are what good lives are made of.
Day 85 (8/6/2017)
I’ve never been here… at the corner of what-the-hell-am-I-doing-next and I-might-possibly-be-homeless-soon, that is.
We’re half-way through the summer season and the winter season is fast-approaching, and here I am without any plans; no job lined up or apartment rented or city to head toeard or country to travel to. Nothing. Nada.
I started working seasonally last summer, but I went into the summer with plans (and funds) to travel the world until the next summer. But this summer I have no plans and very little funds as I head into the winter.
I keep waiting to feel worried or scared. I keep waiting for the type-A planner side that ran my life for the first 23 years to have a complete meltdown, to run back to the comfort of a 9 to 5. But it hasn’t come. Maybe I’m naive or young or optimistic. But I don’t think that’s it. I think I’ve finally learned to trust the universe and all the opportunities it has to offer if you let fall before you. And even more importantly, I think I’ve learned to trust myself and my ability to figure it out no matter what circumstances or obstacles stand before me.
Day 90 (8/11/16)
Have you ever sat on the edge of a lake in the rain and watched the ripples the droplets make as they collide with the glassy surface? Next time you can, you should, and you should watch a single spot far away and look past that spot so your vision is a bit blurred so you can see all the droplets in a large radius and how it looks like a light show being put on just for you.
Have you ever sat on a beach with a close friend and talked about the deepest and blackest moments in your life? If you can, you should, and you should have mugs of red wine and a log to sit close to one another on and maybe even a fire to keep you warm.
Have you ever laid in tent and listened to the night unfold? If you can, you should, and you should leave the rain fly off so you can watch the shadows of the trees grow longer as the sun sets, and try to memorize the way the air smells different at night, and, if you know the right person, bring someone special and ask them what they’re afraid of and if they like dogs and what their favorite part of the day was.
Have you ever climbed to the top of a mountain? If you can, you should, and you should bring a really good sandwich and perhaps even a beer to enjoy at the top, but first you should bask in the greatness of the mountain you just climbed. Feel small again as you look out as far as you can see and realize everything you see is a pinpoint on a world map and an atom in terms of the entire universe. Revel in how small you are, thank God for your life and for the wilderness and for mountains and trees and rivers that wind through valleys. Sit in silence, true silence; no cars or voices or machines can be heard from 5,000 feet above sea level. Breathe in the cleanest air you’ve breathed.
Read Alaska Diaries from the beginning: Week 1 and 2