And go to North Dakota and Pennsylvania. In late February/early March. I'm pretty sure my lungs froze when I walked out of the airport and, you know, breathed.
I took the week to visit a dear friend from high school who is currently stationed at Minot Air Force Base and a college friend who was working in Altoona, Pa.
Only I would go to the great white tundra in winter.
But, why not Minot. Again. And Abbie had visited me in 'bama, that's friendship!
While Abbie and I were exploring Pittsburg and she showed me around Altoona, we decided to make a quick trip down to DC. Her family lives here and it's one of my favorite places on Earth.
At the time, I was unhappy with work, my town and well, a lot of things. Maybe it was all the winter weather. But, as we were walking around DC, (for hours!) I kept saying how much I wanted to be back in DC. Abbie said, Jenn! Enough! Move here already!
I hesitated and said I needed to finish things before I felt ready to move again. To counter that, Abbie had the most genius idea. Make a list of those things I wanted to accomplish, do them, don't add to the list and then move.
On the drive back to Altoona, we made my list. As soon as I got back to 'bama, I got to work.
I checked off nearly everything on that list.
And now a year later, I'm sitting in a Starbucks in the DC area.
I accomplished that list and moved to DC.
There were ups and downs, big ones. There was a phenomenal amount of uncertainty, questions, fear and so on. But, I stuck to that list and I also made a list of things in 'bama I wanted to see/do so I'd be able to walk away and not feel like I'd left things unfinished.
Things remain on that list, but a significant chunk was checked off before I left last fall.
Now, I train for half-marathons on the National Mall. I start at Lincoln, run to the Capitol and back, passing the WWII Memorial, Jefferson, Washington and the Smithsonian. Every time I make the route, dodging tourists, slipping in ice, cursing that I'm still running, I remember that it wasn't long ago that I was walking that same route and wishing to be exactly where I am now.
That thought always puts a smile on my face. I'm sure strangers think I'm some crazy person laughing at her own inside joke, but I don't care. I know I set a goal and I accomplished it.
Oddly enough, I always have the same feeling when I set my mind to travel to a country and when I find myself there, I stop, take a breath and just look around. Taking a moment to just take it in is one of my favorite parts of any trip.
Knowing that just about every time I set my mind to something I end up having one of these moments is a pretty great feeling. And makes me ready to keep making those lists, of things to accomplish and places to go. Because I know, eventually, I'll have a check mark beside each and every one of them.