figure it out.

navigating the 30's, one problem at a time. #FIO #thirtysomething

my favorite book used to be “always running.” there was something comforting about movement and the continual pursuit of a better something.

there’s something inspiring about running from.

there’s something brave about running to.

but what about the middle? the stagnant ground where you miss what you’ve left behind and you’re forgetting what lies ahead?

not from. not to. just running.

that’s just scary.

a month ago, i thought it would be a good idea to throw myself a little going away party. after seven years in san diego i knew it would be impossible to spend quality time with everyone i love before leaving. 

the idea was simple: choose a bar, get some pitchers and have a chance to talk with anyone who showed up. 

right before the party i started to stress out. what if the bar was full? should i have made reservations? what if no one shows up and i’m drinking in a dark corner by myself? what about cake? doesn’t every going away party have cake? 

i arrived right on time and walked in to find the bar packed. the united states was playing in the world cup… something that up until a week ago, i thought was one game. like the super bowl of soccer. i found a spot on the back patio, ordered some beer and decided that if no one showed i would get wasted. good plan. 

it didn’t take long before sara showed. she was my student teacher in 2010. and then fabian. and amy. and angie, megan, jessica, joe, lousiana, seema, corbin, jen, big mac, kim, edgar, yang and angelica. 

at one point i looked around to see how diverse my friends actually are. from my softball teammates who refer to me as this bitch, to a woman in her 70’s who directed a show i was in last fall. 

it made me so proud. 

i’ve never been stagnant. i’ve spent the last seven years experimenting and pushing myself to discover the most interesting parts of me. but i’ve also realized that the people i’ve met have been the most impactful part of the san diego experience. 

they’ve lit the fire. 

last saturday night in san diego so i took myself out on a date. sushi and a movie… cried my eyes out during a fault in our stars. seriously. 
the good news is that there’s only 10 more days until i’ll be with my husband for a long(er) period of time.
but it’s still good to know that i can treat myself pretty good, too. 

last saturday night in san diego so i took myself out on a date. sushi and a movie… cried my eyes out during a fault in our stars. seriously. 

the good news is that there’s only 10 more days until i’ll be with my husband for a long(er) period of time.

but it’s still good to know that i can treat myself pretty good, too. 

despite the countless adventures and hobbies i’ve had in the past seven years, i decide to spend my last saturday in san diego doing what i love most: beach, book, quiet, independent. 
some things just never change. 

despite the countless adventures and hobbies i’ve had in the past seven years, i decide to spend my last saturday in san diego doing what i love most: beach, book, quiet, independent. 

some things just never change. 

i just feel like being irrational. 

no intentions.

i’m closing a lot of chapters over the next 10 days. 

saying goodbye to san diego, to high tech high and to teaching for the foreseeable future. but perhaps the thing that feels most tragic in this moment is the leaving of people. 

seven years has easily passed since i packed up my parents’ car and drove with my dad to the west coast from wisconsin. i had never anticipated that five years after that trip, i would break up with my boyfriend and be alone in this city. 

i catch myself saying things like, honestly, i’m surprised i’ve stayed here for this long! 

but the truth is that i’ve had all the aspects of a ‘life’ here in san diego… i’ve had friends, a great job. i’ve had saturday hikes in canyons and sunday afternoons on beaches. i’ve had alone time and party time, i’ve had all sorts of time. and at some point it just ends. i can try to rationalize why leaving makes sense but the reality is that i must have loved so much of my life here in order to have stayed. i must have… 

today was the last day of school with my kids and like people who you know will continue to grow and change when you part, i hugged them hoping at least some of them would stay with me, even to tell me a joke or complain when i don’t let them out early for lunch. i’ve known some of these kids for four years and seen them every day for two. every single day. through laughs and struggles we have built relationships. 

strangely, i’m ok with leaving this time. i have found myself trying to dig for feelings of resentment or anger towards my husband… without meeting him i probably would not be making this change. i can’t find any. those feelings were just replaced with sadness.

and gratitude for this life i’ve so unintentionally made. 

and there are some days when all you can do is feel lucky. 

and there are some days when all you can do is feel lucky. 

at some point i’ve realized that my relationship is human. i am, he is, we are. 

and a tiny piece of me has died with the disappointment. 

why can’t it just stay perfect?

five months into marriage and this lesson is already valuable. <3 

five months into marriage and this lesson is already valuable. <3 

Anonymous asked: How big was your pack?

i had an osprey viva 65. (http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/product/womens/viva_65)

when i left, my pack weighed 14 lbs. which fit me well. a general rule of thumb is that your pack should be no more than 10% of your body weight. i ended up leaving my sleeping pad (about 2 lbs) and some clothes at an albergue about five days into the walk. in hindsight, i got rid of stuff too soon, my body was adjusting and i probably would have been fine if i continued to carry those items. double hindsight is that i brought many things that weren’t absolutely necessary!