I’m Pretty Good at Giving Toasts

It’s the time of year that every publication posts best-of lists and every app has your personalized year in review. We all feel this need to summarize our year, to look back on the last 12 months with some newfound wisdom or growth. People always characterize their year as “full of ups and downs” as if that weren’t how life simply is. Still, I suppose the end of the year is as good a time as any to reflect, for if life weren’t punctuated this way, when would we?

This year felt very eventful and honestly exhausting compared to the last couple. Obviously, there was a pandemic at play, but in 2021, I did go to the Tokyo Olympics for a month, and that was enough taxing on my body (and brain) to last the entire year. This year didn’t have so many momentous moments per se, but it just had a constant restlessness, more so than the norm. In contrast, I remember 2019 feeling like an actually momentous year: running my first marathon, graduating from college, starting my first real jobs. There were some big LIFE moments that year. read more

We Didn’t Start the Fire

Tomorrow, I’m going to compete in a climbing competition for the first time since middle school. I’ve always been unnecessarily stressed by individual competition, which is why I avoided running track beyond 9th grade and felt genuinely relieved to walk away from climbing competitions when I went to boarding school. There were some climbing comps in college, but I either purposely showed up to them too late (maybe tipsy) or was one of the monitors to set the boulder problems, thus eliminating myself. read more