Challenge.

CHALLENGE = OPPORTUNITY

A theme I’ve been heavily reflecting on.

Today I switched up my routine morning run for a +1,000 step hike up Koko Head Crater.

This is the 3rd time I’ve hiked Koko Head since I’ve lived in Hawaii, but the only time I’ve done it alone.

While I was facing the physical challenge of altitude, endurance & stamina, I was reflecting on the mental challenges that have been plaguing me – as well as the impending test of heart that I’ll soon be enduring when Don goes on his upcoming deployment.

Literally and figuratively I feel that I’ve been standing on the edge of a cliff, waiting for for the moment when I can fully embrace the goals we’ve set for ourselves. It’s been a process, but I’ve slowly come to realize that in order to be completely present for my partner,  I have to first know exactly what I want for myself, in order to be a consummate support for him, and likewise him for me.

Which is why I’ve (we’ve) decided to turn a challenge into an opportunity. There aren’t too many times in traditional marriages where there is an extended “involuntary” separation. And rather than try and force the circumstances, it seems that it just might be the perfect time for me to embark on my own independent mission.

I have a handful of promising (keeping it vague) opportunities that will take me on my own endeavor(s) that will contribute to my personal goals, while at the same time, Don is pursuing his career objectives.

I have always understood, from the first minute I decided to pursue my academic career, that knowledge comes with a burden of responsibility.

There is no way I could have/can continue to fill my head with issues, problems, and possible solutions for things that are going on in the world around me, and then be expected to sit and dwell on them without any action.

I, like most of you who will read this, have been raised without knowing the burden of real poverty, of war, of true hardship.

And through what I have learned, and what I continue to learn about, I am faced with an ultimatum.

Do I stay here – complacent in my comfortable life – sustaining what is excepted as normal?

Or do I decide that with what I have learned, I have been given the responsibility to take action, even if I am sacrificing the standards or normality to achieve the change that I know is just.

Recently we heard the tragic passing of journalist Marie Colvin who lost her life while reporting on the injustices occurring in Syria. The night before she was killed, I watched as she reported on the death of a young Syrian boy. The next morning I woke to hear the news of her death. Colvin’s death struck me as an example of someone who understood her position in society. She had the burden of responsibility, and with that she ultimately risked her life.

And so I took from this tragedy that it is a matter of knowing, of understanding, that there is so much more to the world than what we see on our “screens”. There is a human reality that is begging for our attention, and yet we turn our heads. We absorb the comfortable, the consumable, while so many suffer. So I’ve decided that I cannot sit idle with what I know.

WITH KNOWLEDGE COMES RESPONSIBILITY.

And I am standing up to the challenge, and we’ll wait & see where it takes me.

That being said, I do not an any way wish to demean the role of the military spouse. The burden alone of dealing with the hardships that come with this lifestyle are incredibly difficult, and stand alone as honorable.

It is just on a personal level, that all this is being divulged. And ultimately this is my testament to understanding that two lives that both have noble goals can be achieved together.

I Climbed a Mountain

Does Koko Head Crater count as a mountain?

Well after climbing 1000 + steps a.k.a really old railroad ties I’d have to say that yes, yes it does count as hiking a mountain.

It started off as a moderately difficult. But that was just the beginning my friends. We frequently stopped along the way to catch our breath take photos.

And I was doing ok until I saw this…

Notice anything different about these railroad ties? Oh yeah – there’s nothing underneath them [insert panic attack].

I managed to disguise my fear quite nicely, and get the heck past this part of the trail as fast as I possibly could. It was getting pretty steep – but we were almost there!

And then you realize it was totally worth it when you get a load of this view!

Don looking all hunky (he’s totally got me beat in posing for photos).

And then there’s more of the breathtaking beauty that is Hawaii.

And then there was the trip back down – which of course meant the scary bridge.

We made it back in one piece but my legs were shaking like crazy. I’m certainly going to feel it tomorrow!