Pardon My Dust


Two months ago, I ran up 3,450 vertical feet over six miles with a spunky girl named Courtney Abbott. As soon as I saw her at the pre-race briefing--with her bright smile and platinum-blonde pixie cut--I knew we could be friends. Lo and behold, our paths crossed within the first twenty minutes of the race, when a voice from behind me said "Hey! You ran Boston this year? So did I!" Thank goodness I wore the running tights I bought at Boston's race expo, otherwise Courtney and I might never have met.

For six miles, we talked about our lives. She travels the world teaching sex education via comedy theater--which is perhaps the best job I have ever heard of (she's currently on her way home from a "quick" two-week trip to Cambodia). I loved Courtney because, aside from her vibrant personality and the occasional swear word (kindred spirits!), she was genuine, poised, and wise beyond her years.

I visited her blog today and came across a post that was just what I needed to hear. It so captures a lot of the emotions I have been feeling recently, and helped me make a little more sense out of my twenty-something years.

I echo Courtney's plea: Everyone, please pardon my dust. Especially Brock.

Thank you, lovey, for putting up with my "endless demolition and construction." For loving me even though I didn't say "I love you" back at first. For sticking around when I broke up with you for three days (haha). For standing by me when I changed my major during my senior year of college. And when I added a minor that would cost us $10,000 and four months in a dirty, crowded city in the Middle East. And for being willing to come with me to that city and, in doing so, postpone law school for a full year. Thank you for giving up your Summer 2011 to allow me to intern in DC. Thank you being patient with me when I wanted to be a Foreign Service Officer. And for being excited for me when I passed the FSOT, even though I knew you were secretly praying that I wouldn't make it through the QEPs (turns out your prayers are potent!). Thanks for not throwing me out a window when I told you that I wanted to go to grad school in Azerbaijan, and then again when I suggested we join the Peace Corps (I still think we'd be great at it). Thanks for going vegetarian with me last year, even though we only lasted a few months. Thank you for putting your foot down when I wanted to spend $3,000 on a three-day trip to Florence for us to model wedding clothes in a Jasmine Star photoshoot. Thank you for pretending you liked my purple hair. Thank you for dreaming with me, and for helping me make a detailed month-by-month itinerary of our yet-to-be-realized 14-month trip around the world. Thanks for driving me all over the mountains throughout the summer as I trained for my ultra. And although I'm still a little bitter that you won't let me join the Marines, I have a feeling that I'll thank you for that one day, too.

Dang. That's a lot of dust.


If you're still reading: Congrats. That probably classifies you as either my mom or dad.

Today I called to cancel an appointment with a Marine Corps recruiter. I told him that I wasn't going to waste his time because no matter what I said or did, my husband would never concede.

"Oh, I see. Husband keepin' you from fulfilling your dreams, eh?"

His response really bothered me. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there is a fine line between tying a person down and holding a person down. Brock is my anchor, but not in the sense that he keeps me from going wherever or doing whatever I want; rather, he keeps me grounded in a good place.

He is the good place. He will always be the good place.


  1. You'll be a good mother.
    Even though you see it as fatalistic you'll take the same drive to accomplish and change course at a moments notice and incorporate it into parenting. Kids force you to become things you didn't know you could be.


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