Five Moments: Tell us about five moments you don’t want to forget from 2013.
- Receiving my job offer. There really aren’t words for the weight that is lifted from me now that I am in a position with stable funding, benefits, some longevity, a future. There is nothing that can throw the rest of your life out of whack quite like an unpleasant or uncertain job.
- Rock the Garden in the pouring rain. One of the better examples of this year in which I felt no worries, no pressure, not schedule. Just 4 friends, 4 bikes, a concert in a parking garage, and a bucket of fries.
- Big Gay Race. This year, Minnesota passed a law welcoming gay marriage in our state. Really, extending the rights bestowed upon married people to all of our neighbors. Love is the law here and I could not be more pleased or proud. One week before our wedding, about 5 months after the law was passed and 2 months after it went into effect, I ran the Big Gay Race 5k, which was a fundraiser for an organization that worked to get this law passed and will continue to work to support legislators who voted in support of love this year. Despite feeling awash in wedding to-dos and some rainy weather, I showed up by myself on race day.
I can’t even count the number of running events I have done, but this one had a very special feel for me. I was underprepared but still ran hard that day, thinking how all Minnesotans could experience the excitement and joy about their wedding and marriage that I was feeling. I ran thinking about how we had tweaked the language in our own ceremony to be inclusive of all couples and recognize that we know love exists in a million different places and that love should be honored. I was really honored to say, through my participation, that I support this today and tomorrow and forever and that I will support the individuals who support love and equal rights.
- Waking up on my wedding morning. So much chatter about the wedding this year, which is an event I know I will never forget, but I wanted to give special space to what it felt like waking up on the morning of October 5th, 2013. Just the night before our house had been filled with the most wonderful kind of love– the love of prayer and goodwill, laughter and tears, family and friends (and the dog) together. It was simply magic. Overcrowded and mismatched and magic. I remember waking up, hungover due to some late night whiskey drinking and shootin’ the shit with some friends, and feeling so unlike any feeling I had had during the entirety of wedding planning. The house was quiet, the sky was the hazy blue of pre-dawn, and for the first time my mind was restful. It was the feeling of knowing this is the Most Right Thing. And within minutes, my to-do list popped into my mind, and I started frantically packing all the last-minute things and tended to last-minute needs and hardly without notice the day began.
- Reaching the parking lot at the beginning/end of the Kalalau Trail. I have yet to find the words to fully describe to you our hike on the Kalalau Trail. I can tell you it was hard. I can tell you at times I was a bit scared we wouldn’t make it and more than once I was less than my most-loving self to my new husband. It is another experience that I know I will never forget. But reaching the parking lot upon the completion, where the trail both begins and ends, was awesome. I will admit to first thinking, “Let us get in the damn car and get the milkshake that I have been dreaming about for the last 5 or 6 miles of the hardest hike I have ever done in my life.” But reaching that parking lot signified many other less-tangibles. There was an overwhelming feeling of confidence– I can do hard things. I can do things that are scary. I can do things even when I am uncertain. I can prepare well for hard things and wing the rest with a pretty high level of success.
But there was also an overwhelming feeling of trust, and this I was expecting less than the feelings of confidence. Aaron and I had done hard things together before- we did a Boundary Waters trip, we climbed a small mountain in Yellowstone, we bought a house together. I already trusted him. But maybe this trip had been the perfect combination of “we’re JUST married” and “this hike is a bit outside of everyone’s comfort zone” that, for me, created a more intense bond with this other person. I can do hard things with my husband. I can do things that are scary with my husband. I can trust him when I am uncertain. As a supremely independent person, it can be really hard to trust others and that absolute feeling of trust is way overwhelming. In a really excellent way.