October 4, 2016

A Decade Gone By

As of September 2016 I have lived in Alaska (again) for 10 years. That's the longest I've lived in one place at a time. Generally I get the itch to move every few years or so. My current itch has lasted awhile but I just can't get myself to go and I don't know why. Maybe I'm just not ready? Maybe I just need to admit I love Alaska and don't want to leave..

As some of you may know, this isn't my first go-round with Alaska. I was born in Palmer and lived in the Butte until 1990/91 (I can't remember) when my parents asked my brothers and I if we wanted to move to California. My brothers and I discussed it and decided that yes, we did want to move to California. Live by the beach, see palm trees, drive convertibles, listen to the Beach Boys and live out every beach movie/show we'd ever seen. Boy oh boy did my parents dupe us on that one! Instead of beaches and convertibles, we moved to Redding where it was more like cows and beat up trucks. Where meth runs rampant and jobs are hard to come by. Not only that, the temperature in the summer are damn near unbearable reaching well over 100 degrees. That was fun to play soccer in. Not. I survived though, and after graduation drove halfway across the country to Minneapolis. Lived there off and on and ended up back in Alaska. Why you ask? My brother had a bad break-up and I came up here to hunt her down and do bodily harm to her. No really, I would have. Lucky for her I never saw her (and me I suppose. I'm not a jailbird type of gal).
Ben and I on our way up to AK

So here I am.. reminiscing about 10 years gone by with damn near nothing to show for it. No career, no husband, no kids, I rent my house and I have nineteen chickens. But do I look at these last 10 years as a waste of time? Absolutely not. I've been fortunate to meet some of the best friends I will ever have. I've experienced parts of Alaska most don't get the chance to see. And although I don't own it, I have the cutest little house in town that I love and have been happy in for years with my fifteen year old cat Zoe. I have welcomed a new sister into the family, have been blessed with a healthy family, loved and lost, and learned so, so much.

It was her favorite place to be! 
I swore when I left Minnesota that the next place I moved to I would EXPERIENCE it. While in MN I didn't do anything but restaurants and bars. I didn't camp or hike. I didn't go to the Boundary Waters or Basilica of Saint Mary or any State parks. Sad, but true. So that is one thing I can say I've accomplished in the last 10 years. I have experienced Alaska and I have had friends come up and experience it too. It's hard not to when you live in such a beautiful place. Yes the weather can be all over the place, and yes it gets dark and cold, but when it's nice there is no better place to be.

It's easy to get stuck in routines. I thank my friends for getting me to step outside of my comfort zones and habits. I thank my friends for helping me through the hard times and laughing during the good times. I thank my friends for making me a part of their families. But more than anything, I thank my family for supporting me through the last 10 years of ups and downs, tears and laughter, jobs and no jobs and everything in between. I am so fortunate to have the people in my life that I do. I look forward to the next 10 years to see what comes of this crazy thing called life.

2006. Finally made it.

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