2023: Everything’s OK

What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?

In 2022, it was it was the moment that all my hopes for the year started happening. In 2021, it was all the small moments that validates that I’ll be fine even if it was a tiered rejection letter. In 2020, it was when a product leader called attention to the quality of my work. In 2019, it was when I left my job and when Chris comforted me that we are ok. In 2018, it was realizing my own qualities. In 2017, it was giving advice in hopes of inspiring others. In 2016, it was the moment that when immersed in the election aftermath that anything could change. In 2015, it was the moment when I realized that I could finish Ice Cream Travel Guide. In 2014, it was when I wrote a well-crafted piece (that I read to a live audience 11 months later). In 2013, it was when light shone in the face of despair. In 2012, it was when I stood up for myself. In 2011, it was a moment of clarity, sincere belief and friendship. In 2010, it was an action of commitment.

Some may or may not know that Chris has had a horrible year. In the way that information and trust could be used in malicious ways. Maybe I did devote a lot of my energy in making sure that he was okay.

I have found more than ever that my creativity and energy gets paused (or zapped) when I am worried. Especially worried about him. Imagine if I had kids. I think that would be worse?

But I guess the moment came later when I could see him really enjoying our hikes in Utah. Although there were definitely several times that I complained that he was running up ahead and not waiting for me, it felt like we were in the flow as we climbed Angels Landing. When we watched the GoPro footage later, he reflected that he was worried that I was going to give up and that I worried that I was holding him back. In truth, I was fighting against a desire to go faster because I certainly didn’t want to fall all the way down the cliffs. I wanted to be sure about my footing which meant that I was going slowly. And I knew that I could make it. It was just going to be slow.

I remember that he was willing to wait. I could tell that, although it may come off like mansplaining, that he enjoyed telling me where to place my hands and feet, what rocks could appear easiest, how to swing. In an earlier essay, I alluded to how he described running up ahead, ““I am the herald. I am Jack Bauer. I am just making sure it’s safe for you.”

He was. Clearing the way. Making sure that I was okay. He wasn’t impatient. It wasn’t that I was grateful for his patience. It was embarassing in a way that I was so cautious. But more that it gave up him purpose. For a few days, he could feel needed. Seeing the red rocks lit by a rising or setting sun (when we actually made it), finding footholds, and just being in nature (because mobile coverage was so poor!)

I liked touching the rocks, he said later.

Like a spider? I asked. Like being one with the rocks.

Yes, to all of that.

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