15,330 (A new personal best) - California / by sam taylor

15330 (A new personal best) - West Virginia

Good Friday Morning!

Today's note and image are a bit of reflection and thought - you see, my birthday is coming up, marking a new personal high score of 15,330 days on this lovely little planet.

Once upon a time, a little more than 10 years ago, I was lost.  I had been around the world, I had seen so many things, I generally liked my job, and I felt...  totally disconnected from the world, from my happiness, from my family, from my friends.  I was going through the motions, beating in time until "something else happened".  It felt like the stories I'd read - you start to work, you work that job for 30 years, you retire, you die.  I didn't feel like I was contributing.... anything.  That I had no direction.

One day, I had a work project take me to Sacramento, California, and on a whim I called a friend that lived out there and asked if I could make a trip up and visit, and maybe go see the redwoods.  She and her boyfriend rolled out the red carpet for me, they opened their home, lent me some camping gear, and then she served as my tour guide for 3 days while we drove across the Trinity Alps, out to the Lost Coast, and eventually up to Redwoods National Park.  Somewhere in there, I realized that even though I was massively under prepared for this trip (borrowed sleeping bag, borrowed tent, borrowed coat, borrowed hat), I was having the best time I could remember.  I was the happiest I could remember being since I was a carefree teen in the woods down on the Gauley River.  We camped on the beach - a very cold night, for the California coast, and I drank a beer and watched the sun set into the Pacific.  I woke in the middle of the night and found myself surrounded by running elk.

And then I saw the redwoods.

As I was driving back to the airport to catch my flight home, I resolved that I wasn't going to let my life just stream past me anymore.  I was going to do things I loved.  I was going to do work that I thought mattered, I was going to do SOMETHING. 

I can still point to those days, to that trip, as when my life changed.  (how often do you get to do that?)

And everything I've done since then has been aimed at those goals. I've learned to do a great many things since then.  I've taken on more than I could chew (or so it felt).  I've jumped into the deep end - several times now.

And for the most part, I've never been happier.

Happy birthday to me, and here's hoping that I get to keep setting high scores, and living the best life I can find for myself.  Since I wasted a lot of time, I've got to work even harder to get caught back up. :)

Hope y'all have a great weekend.

15,330 (A new personal best) - California