Alright, alright. My birthday was last week, but I couldn't figure out what to do with the photo I took on my actual birthday (November 22nd, just in case any of you wanted to put together a gift list for next year!). I went through a ton of images I wanted to overlay, and I realized they were all places that I hold dear in my heart. As soon as I tested out this image, I knew it was the perfect one. A photo I shot much earlier this year out in southern Washington, Silver Star Peak always fills me with hope and a little bit of wonder.
After driving gravel back roads in my tiny little hatchback, I eventually stumbled upon the trailhead parking lot with only two other cars. I was a little nervous about being alone and seemingly unprepared, so I put on headphones and called a friend, who talked to me for 2/3 of the day. I hiked alone for about three hours and summitted the most breathtaking peak by early afternoon. I sat at the top and stared out at everything around me: Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, Mount Jefferson, the Columbia River Gorge, and the Pacific Coast Range were all in view, and I kept spinning around and around to see everything another time. It felt completely unreal, and even after all that scrambling to the top, I felt like I could finally breathe. The little worries in my life seemed totally insignificant, and all that mattered were those few moments.
23 was enjoyable, rough all over, warm, distant, anxious, lovely, and filled with just as many tears as laughs.
Let's see how 24 goes.