(Mischief Managed?? Possibly. I may or may not have more shenanigans up my sleeve. But I always loved the overt Harry Potter reference on the boat that often parked outside my window at work.)
This is my last day in Alaska. Tomorrow is the first day of a brand new adventure, one wherein I plan to have more fun than basically ever. I'll spend more time with my family, more time with friends, be better at my job, better at being spiritual... overall just more better. I won't lose my temper, I'll start sleeping like a proper adult, and I'll acquire all those other skills that everyone thinks they'll automatically gain when looking forward to a new future. It's called being hopelessly optimistic... and sometimes hopelessly deluded.
(The friendly neighborhood moose who liked to munch outside my window at work. I have a very exciting window. All the cool kids go there.)
But for now, I'm still here Alaska, and I'm surprised to find myself sad to leave. After all, getting a job in the center of Seattle has basically been my goal in life for years. Not to mention how much warmer it will be in the winter, and how much closer to family.
(McHugh Creek. My favorite stretch of abandoned highway.)
(Fireweed. When the blooms at the top blossom, you know summer is over and pre-winter is right around the corner. Not fall. There is no fall.)
This is the end of my fourth summer here, and I find that I've adapted neatly to all the bizarre little quirks such a remote location has. I drive a lot more calmly than I used too.. I do a lot of things more calmly. Don't get me wrong. I still get excited, and I still worry, and I'll even lose my patience on occasion. But I know how to rely on myself. I know how to solve my own problems and make my own decisions. I know I can make it on my own--even in The Last Frontier. I know I can make friends and fall in love, and I know I can make mistakes too. But just because a mistake happens, doesn't mean the world will end. Quite to the contrary. The world keeps happening, and I keep happening too. I'm surprised to find that even though I avoided it like the plague, I did put down roots. I didn't have a long-term apartment, and I didn't buy furniture, but I have friends. I have surrogate families. I have routines and activities. Responsibilities even. Favorite restaurants and coffee stands. I have places I like to go to think. I know which spots in the road to avoid because of potholes, and how to get places the back way to avoid construction. I know that Simon's has the best key lime pie in the city, and no one makes better garlic-cilantro fries than Bears Tooth. Moose's Tooth probably has the most exciting and delicious varieties of pizza ever. And I'll miss eating at a place called Taco King (they deliver). Taco King of all places!
(This is what I always order at Bear's Tooth. Rosemary Chicken Burger. The garlic cilantro fries are a given.)
The best part about Alaska is I don't regret anything. I went on the adventures. I explored. Saw the Iditarod and the Northern Lights. Saw Denali and Seward. Went to North Pole. Camped, biked, fished, hiked, kayaked, canoed, flew and skiied over every inch I possibly could. And it was beautiful.
(Not instagram. Just a roadtrip-dirty windshield. See. That's how cool Alaska is. You can take pictures like this through the dirty windshield of a moving car.)
So thank you Alaska, really. And also for the fish. It was rather delicious.
Douglas Adams, in case you're wondering. From when the earth was going to be blown up in "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy", and the dolphins left the planet, telling humans, "so long, and thanks for all the fish."