Sunburns are good for the soul

Sunburns are good for the soul

Despite not being good for the skin. A sunburn means you earned your color, in some way or another. Whether you made the trek to the beach for the sole purpose of laying out with friends or you were kayaking down a river in Alaska; sunburn means you went out and seized the day even if you forgot to lavishly apply sunscreen. I’m proud of my temporarily blushing face and pink shoulders. Yesterday was good.

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It’s been 6 weeks since I’ve moved to Alaska. Six weeks Wednesday, actually. Six weeks is the longest I’ve ever gone without seeing my mom and dad. It’s without a doubt the longest I’ve ever gone without seeing my sister. And since my oldest niece was born, it’s definitely been the longest I’ve gone without seeing her. I know what it’s like to miss people. My oldest sister moved to Wyoming when I was 15 and we’ve gone an entire year without seeing each other. My husband and I would go months at a time where we’d be apart. Missing people isn’t new for me. But missing people who were so constant in my adult life…that’s new.

I’m doing fine. Better than fine. I stay busy with my full time job, I thoroughly enjoy the few hours every weekday evening my husband and I get together, and on the weekends I love our mornings sleeping in and going on adventures in the afternoon. But my parents, my sister, and my niece remain a huge part of my every day life. I try to skype them once a week at least, I get daily pictures of both of my nieces. I text my sisters and best friend each and every day, and I usually get a nice, long phone call in with my parents. Modern technology may be the cause of some problems in our everyday life, but it keeps me sane. It keeps me grounded. It keeps me from being sad.

Six weeks isn’t even that long. In the grand scheme of things (i.e. how long we will be in Alaska) six weeks is a small bump on the timeline. But I’m giving myself credit. I’m giving myself a lot of credit for how happy I am, how much I’ve accomplished since I’ve arrived, and how much I have tried to live in the moment.

I could be sad that reaching Wednesday means the longest I’ve gone without seeing some of my absolute favorite people, or I could be happy for the handsome guy asleep next to me who I get to enjoy the wonders of Alaska with and all the little things we refuse to take for granted (cooking together, watching seasons of shows on Netflix, playing soccer in the field next to our house whenever we’re bored, etc, etc). I have to choose the latter.

So back to this sunburn. It hurts at first; in certain moments after it initially occurs it might even hurt like hell. But it dulls. It fades into a color you appreciate. Something you’re proud of and thankful for, because the memories you make for a little bit of pain are incredibly worth it.

“The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them.” – Anonymous

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