A Walk in the Sky

You know how sometimes I go on tangents about how much I have learned to love life and about how beautiful the world is? Well, I had another of those revelations the other night (and my butt is kind of mad at me for it).

In the lovely town of San Luis Obispo, there are plenty of fun things to do, one of which is hiking. The P, Bishop’s Peak, Madonna Mountain, Avila Ridge, Montaña de Oro…I could go on. I have, as of Wednesday evening, completed the first three on that list. Lo, Tori, Melissa, and I hiked Madonna Mountain for the sunset. Let me tell you, it was not easy. I had just gone to the gym, but thought the hike would be a good little extra workout–one with a fabulous view.

It was very difficult to make it up there, and my knees were not up to the challenge I was putting them through. Oh well! I did it anyway. It was getting dark, and clouds were moving in quickly. It was beginning to get spooky (perfect for my friends and me, as we call ourselves “spooky witches”). I honestly did not think I was going to make it to the top, and tried to ask to stop. We could not even see the peak through the fog, so was it really going to be worth it in the end?

The answer was hell to the freaking yes.

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Once we got to the home stretch–the real one, not the four before. It was a long hike okay?–the sun began peaking out of the mist in all its pink and yellow and orange warmth. I limped up the final few rocks and turned around to face the setting sun. It was absolutely breathtaking.

The clouds were like dry ice floating all around us and swirling in the wind. The sun was bright and glowing and melting all sorts of colors into the rest of the sky. The phrase “On top of the world,” as cliche and overused as it is, is probably the most accurate way to describe it. I felt free, like nothing could touch me. If I had jumped off that rock, I could have flown away, landed on the clouds and floated away with the wind.

I wanted to bask up there forever. I mean, it was getting cold and it was dark before we got to the bottom of the mountain, but while the clouds pushed their way around the peak and the sun dipped below the horizon, time could have been standing still down on Earth.

It didn’t matter that I pretty aggressively twisted my ankle on the way down, and almost brought Lo down with me more than once, that I couldn’t feel my hand for a good forty-five mintues after getting home, that I defintely should have brought a jacket, or that my nose was running like mad almost the entire time. The view–and the wonderful feeling that came with it–was completely worth it.

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It reminded me that there is more to the world than the pit of stress that is finals week. My life does not revolve around folding panties and selling Angel cards, even though it seems that way sometimes. The world is not out to get me, despite me thinking as much for most of my life. There is a beauty in the world I had not seen before–that I never thought I would ever see.

I come up on my twenty-first birthday, I am once again counting my blessings. I list the reasons that I am grateful for life and for my friends and for my family. I am happy to be alive and to get to see the absolutely magical sunsets that SLO gives me every night. Heart-eye emojis for days.

My summer has been filled with early mornings and late nights given to my lovely workplace, but it is also full of smiles and laughs and good memories. Great memories.

And tonight I made slutty brownies, which were to. Die. For. A different kind of recovery win! Betty Crocker, you may not be Ghirardelli triple chocolate, but you sure are mouth-watering.

Stay tuned for updates on fun things, good times, and London preparations!

xx Ash

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