This last series of questions comes from Ryan at This Must Be the Place.
1. Any sad, tragic or difficult times you'd care to share such as losing a loved one, a job, or something you cared about?
I wrote a lot about this in this post. The first loss I ever experienced was my best friend at age 9. He and I had a really strong connection, particularly for our age. He succumbed to leukemia just three days after his 9th birthday. The loss was really hard on me and truthfully, I still think about him to this day. I thikn it's had a huge impact on me, and gave me a lesson pretty early on how important it is to appreciate the people around you while they're here. There are no guarantees in life and really, all we have is one another.
2. Were there any moments you recall as true breakthroughs in any area of your life?
When my husband went to Iraq, I eventually realized that all the stupid concerns I had about us or about life essentially evaporated. It was the first time that I was jolted out of the sheltered life that we Americans don't always realize we exist in. It was also the first time that I was able to give up control of a particular situation and accept that there were things I couldn't and wouldn't understand, and that all I needed to do was be there for him. It was a whole new moment in our relationship and I felt like we knew each other on a somehow even deeper level.
3. If you could do one thing differently in your life, what would that be?
I wish that I could relax and enjoy the present rather than focus on worrisome events on the horizon. Sometimes I let my anxiety get the best of me and ruin an entire day by worrying. This is the best time of my life so far and I spend far too much time worrying about needless things. I wish I would learn to be more confident in myself and in my relationships and to not worry so much about what other people think. It's a process, but I think I'm slowly getting there.
4. What have you learned over your lifetime that you'd like to share with the younger generation?
So I know that every old person ever says this to every young person ever, but appreciate being young and not having to worry about all the concerns of adulthood. I spent too much time trying to grow up and when I finally got to adulthood I realized that I had rushed it. With a few exceptions, there are no summer vacations in the real world, you generally need to spend a considerable amount of time at work, and money is always a concern unless you are fortunate enough to be wealthy. While being an adult is pretty badass, I still find myself pining for simpler times, as we all do.
5. If you and Rob could plan a perfect vacation, money not being an issue, where would you escape to?
I would love to go to New Zealand and Australia, personally. I think we'd spend the time looking at all the natural beauty but not putting any pressure on having to see every little thing. We'd enjoy some beach time and some ocean time, and just bask in the glory of each other and our love.