To start, I feel like a round of thanks and apologies are in order.
I've been quite neglectful of this blog lately, and while I don't feel like I need to apologize for that per se, I do want to apologize for taking so long to reply to your comments and emails!
And then, thank you. Thank you for all of your sweet wishes for Gidget, your "Happy Birthdays" for Riley and for just sticking with me in general. Over the past year of this blog's life (ah, I missed my first blogaversary!) I have come to realize that those of you out there reading this little blog are some of the kindest, coolest people around. I really mean it. And I hope you know that I truly appreciate you reading and leaving your thoughtful words, even if it takes me weeks to respond.
When we were traveling around on the water, it was easy to publish new content everyday. I was excited about what I was doing and seeing, and I wanted to remember it and I wanted to share it. So now, I'm feeling a little like a fish out of water. (haha! totally proud of that one.) It's funny because, the truth is, I am still completely excited about life. I never really felt those blues that sometimes happen when a big life event ends. But still, the transition's been a little strange. It's been a little over a month since we've been back, which seems just long enough to start thinking, "did that really even happen?" I mean, there's tangible and intangible proof that it did, but still. And now, the task is to try and take the pieces of my life pre-adventure, and the experiences of the adventure, and the pieces of my life that have been forever altered by the adventure, and fit them into a new equation that works. "Now what?" has become a daily question. I'm getting there, I think, it's just taking a little while.
All that to say, it's been a little quiet here while I figure it all out. This blog existed before we even set sail, so I know it can exist after, but really, how do you follow that? I feel like a blog, when it's at it's very best, should paint a picture, a reflection, of it's author. And since I'm still struggling to see what that pictures looks like, what it should and could look like, I'm still struggling to find the right words, too. But it's okay, because I mean that in the best, most optimistic sense. Because so far, things are looking pretty good.
When you have an opportunity to grow and change from an amazing experience, the fresh start that you're presented with afterwards seems almost limitless. There are almost too many colors on my palette, however will I choose?
In some ways, our trip felt like a sort of escape from reality. But in others, it was like going back to school. We saw, we experienced, we learned. We pushed ourselves outside of our comfort zones. And now that we've graduated, the real test is in what we do with it all. How will we (I) take the experience and allow it to affect every aspect of my "real" life. Now that I know that I am capable of things I never even imagined, what am I going to do about it? You can't just let these sorts of things go to waste, you know.
So, that's where I'm at. And where this blog is at. We're works in progress.
In the meantime, Riley and I have been taking every opportunity to explore the city of Roanoke with fresh, city-dweller eyes, and I am absolutely loving it. Maybe it takes leaving an area, and then coming back into the heart of it to really appreciate it. I also feel like the city is making a lot of exciting improvements and I'm glad to be seeing them firsthand and I'm looking forward to sharing more of it with you, too.
So, in conclusion to this long winded, rambling, and analogy laden blog post, here we are. This is my new world, and this is what it feels like to be on top of it.