The past year has been, for both of us, one of those periods in life that test you far beyond your comfort zone.
A. had moved across country in the hopes that an exciting but risky internship would jumpstart his non-existant career. I was balancing a full-time position with an intense search for a new job. My mother—who has forever been my rock and confidant—continued her two-year battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Months of hard work, sleepless nights, and emotional strain dragged on.
Then, in one surreal week, my mom landed in the ICU in a Connecticut hospital and I received an amazing job offer in Utah. My life seemed to be screeching to a halt and just beginning at the same exact time. The months that followed faded into a blur.
I remember riding a lot.
I remember taking the train to Connecticut a lot. My bike, of course, came with me.
I remember bursting into tears while biking to work one morning, and being unable to stop crying until I ordered and ate a side of bacon.
I remember packing boxes and moving furniture at all hours of the hot, humid night. I remember the friends and family who helped me.
Now, I live in Salt Lake City with A. I love my new job, and A's internship has turned into a full-time position. I still ride my bike to work, and we hike together on the weekends. I miss my family, and while my mom's struggle has continued along a roller coaster track, her doctors are working hard to move her out of the hospital and into a physical therapy rehab facility.
Things aren't perfect. The journey is far from over. There are many times when I wonder, à la Monday Morning Mantra, "What the f**k have I done?" But this past year has taught me that determination can reap amazing rewards; that a loving and supportive family is an invaluable gift; and that a bicycle is one amazing piece of survival equipment.