I Chose This Life
 My bestie Shannon Christy, we all know she's waiting for us up there. 

My bestie Shannon Christy, we all know she's waiting for us up there. 

I chose this life. I did. I have to remind myself of that, one, simple, fact. I chose this life that I live. This life, ever changing, always moving, never home, living out of a Watershed Drybag, taking showers in downspouts during rainstorms, laughing hysterically on the river, crying while remembering lost friends, loving every day like it may be my last. 

 Jon Clark, gone but never, ever, forgotten Photo by: 

Jon Clark, gone but never, ever, forgotten Photo by: 

 Battling. Photo by Sarah Rhulen

Battling. Photo by Sarah Rhulen

Since March 22, I have spent 19 days at home with my fiancé. I have also flown to Portland 3 times, flown to DC, driven to Colorado, flown to Asheville, driven to the Nantahala Outdoor Center four times, spent at least 10 nights on a couch, 3 weeks in a king sized bed at the Watershed Cabins, 5 nights in a king sized bed in Vail, and so many other nights in random rented houses or hotel rooms. I have taught 46 young adult cancer survivors how to kayak and just finished a week long kids camp with the NOC, working with 8 kids on the water. I don't always know when my next meal will be, or from where it will come. Some of my clothes smell like mildew even though I have washed them, multiple times. Some days are harder than others. Travel days stress me out, doing laundry is always complicated; “Is this clean? Does this smell?”, I even forgot every piece of my insulation layers to go to Colorado.

 Just another day of teaching kayaking Photo by: Sarah Rhulen

Just another day of teaching kayaking Photo by: Sarah Rhulen

It seems like there is no end in sight with this crazy life. I have one more week in Hood River working for First Descents, a week in Michigan (resting hopefully) with my family and my new niece, then home to Greenville for a week. Only to go back on the road one week later to teach more clinics at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. 

As I reflect on the last 14 weeks, I also remember all of the life changing times I have had. I have met people and created new relationships, I have had experiences I would never dream of missing out on. I have felt joy, sorrow, happiness, worry, and comfort. When I tell people about my life, my jobs, my adventures, they hear all of the positives. They don't hear about the 8 minute connections running through the Atlanta airport, or trying to pack for a month after only being home for 5 hours, the hardship of constantly being in and out of a community, or being apart from my human for so long and how challenging that is. Luckily, the friends I have chosen support me, my fiancé supports me, my family supports me, my community supports me.

The life I have chosen is not the easy life, but it’s the one I chose and I would never change it. 

Cheers to the next adventure, right around the corner. Thanks for being there with me!

 THANKS HUMANS! Phot by- Sarah Rhulen

THANKS HUMANS! Phot by- Sarah Rhulen