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Living with Gusto!

It's the longest day of the year and how perfect it is! I had drafted out a post earlier today deep in reflection, but you know what? Tonight was really great and I'm just not feeling it! I'm not going to lie... this summer has been kind of a bummer. Things haven't worked out the way I'd hoped, but the most frustrating part is I don't even know what I was hoping for! I guess you'll always be disappointed if things don't turn out how you want them to, but if you aren't hoping for anything, then everything in life has the possibility to be a disappointment. I'll be honest, I'm working hard to not let that happen and not to let my mindset determine that things are disappointing. I had been letting myself get so dreary, and in my last summer before graduation I was miserable! Sometimes all it takes is a little perspective change though.

Yesterday I hiked with Mom and her friend Justin to the start of the Colorado Trail. Justin was just setting off on his journey to hike the Colorado Trail all the way through to Durango. Yesterday marked the start of this incredible hike for him, but it was not even close to the start of his journey. Justin has dreamed about hiking the Colorado Trail since he was a little boy, but lost sight of it as he grew up. A couple years ago, he realized he wasn't living his best life and decided to change. Through walking and hiking, Justin has lost a ton of weight and is now fit and ready to be on a trail for 32 days! He's pursuing his dreams and living life to the fullest because he CHOSE to do so.

I realized as we were hiking back down yesterday that I'm getting in my own way from doing the same! I hope to be outside more, to take more pictures, one of my goals this summer was to learn a foreign language, to run more, and to not worry so darn much! I have no excuse for not at least trying to do these things! I hope that after today's sun sets and the light hours of the upcoming days get shorter, that you join me in trying to make the most of each day and, as my friend Collette says, living with gusto!

Tonight after work I cooked dinner and then went back to campus to sit on Norlin quad and read and enjoy the sun and boy was it beautiful!! I sat on the quad for a long time until it started getting a little darker, and as I started walking back to my car, I noticed just how beautiful the sunset was. Boulder doesn't usually get the most rad of all sunsets because we are so close to the base of the mountains, but tonight the clouds covering the entire sky were just heavenly! So I high-tailed it up to Chautauqua in my nice tank top and new white birks, and I am so glad I did. I don't usually like to go do things like that- I don't like being alone so I don't take advantage of it unless I have a buddy. Tonight I did not and I didn't care one bit. The pink clouds were calling my name and I pursued them!

My friend Kelli has a phrase "reckless abandon" that she thinks of a lot in regards to pursuing a stronger relationship with God, and it's been on my heart lately. I think of it in a different way, however, as to me it means putting fear aside and going after what I want. I couldn't help but think those two words again as I was driving home from Chautauqua, and I am pretty pleased with myself for it.

It was just a really great night! I talked with other people at the park (something I rarely do), photobombed strangers' selfies before taking some shots for them, laughed at myself failing miserably at trying to shoot lightning in far-away clouds, and laughed even harder at myself hiking in my work clothes (thank goodness I swapped my pants for shorts though!). I'm casting away worry and struggle in my pursuit of happiness and taking a moment to just be happy. So here's to Justin, and Collette, and Kelli, some of my far away friends un-knowingly helping me live a better life.

On a semi-related note, here are some pretty cool pictures from hiking up with Justin yesterday. You can see the full gallery at

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