This chapter - this PHASE - of my life was overflowing with emotions. The excitement of deciding to move to San Francisco. The sadness of leaving behind such great friends on the East Coast. The joy of connecting with new, wonderful people in San Francisco. The determination and stubbornness and anxiety and pride of marathons and triathlons. The adventure of travel to new and faraway lands. (Not to forget the monotony of traveling to Chicago.)
The pain of depression, yes. And the isolation and despair that comes with it. The shame of swallowing a little pink pill and the dread of having to talk about it each week. But also the hope after every 60 minute session, and the eventual happiness of realizing one day what it feels like to be HAPPY. Truly happy. And the gratefulness that comes with having a best friend in AER. For it wasn't until I met her that I really had any clue about what being happy really meant.
But also the warmth of falling in love. For real. (Finally!) The elation of meeting a person who despite all cliches and horrific un-feminist fairy tales, has made a lot of my dreams come true. Yes, they can be classified as somewhat simple dreams - to backpack in Yosemite, to camp alongside a running stream, to snowboard in Colorado, and to cycle... pretty much everywhere. But to be able to do all of these things with someone who after a couple of years still makes me feel like a teenager with butterflies in her chest.
Phase Five has been full of so much love. The kind I read and sang about, yes. But also this amazing kind of love that I never even knew I didn't know about. The kind of love that I have only ever found in JCB. After he's bathed me and helped me go to the bathroom when I had a broken wrist. After he's woken up at 4AM to cheer for me at my races. A love that I have never been able to adequately explain...
And for once, I think my lack for words is a good thing.
My mother has a favorite thing to say about me. She says I have a tendency to walk through shit, but that I also come out smelling like roses. Phase Five has hardly been a walk though shit. Quite the contrary! Phase Five has been so utterly wonderful that I'm not quite sure what I want to do with myself next.
Where will I be in five years? How the hell do I know? I haven't a clue! But I am certain I will be there with TLY (soon to be TLN) from Phase 2. With The Lovelies and The Guy Friend Club from Phase 3. Women like EIW and LEFS who have been with me through too many Phases to count... And AER and JCB who I plan on keeping by my side forever more.
Thank you all for following and being a part of this journey. I wouldn't be proud to be who I am today without you.
And onto Phase Six we go...