the day that didn’t exist.

January 7, 2009 didn’t exist for me. A decade ago, I was on a plane to Sydney, Australia. When you’re running away from a lot of things, you choose the farthest place you can swing.

I left on January 6th and when I arrived in Sydney, it was January 8th.

This girl was bopping around the big city by her lonesome:

me_in_sydney

What a baby! It was also very warm there. Like 110°.

She was likely listening to this song:

She was very lonely:

in_my_room_sad

But trying:

jervis_bay_selfie

Trying by adventuring and dancing in kitchens:

in_the_vincents_kitchen

But it was the loneliest I’ve been. It was the darkest time in the brightest heat. And for long I looked back on this time—looked back at this 23-year-old—and felt regret and sadness.

That day didn’t exist. Then I wished this time hadn’t existed. This phase. Sometimes I didn’t want to exist. But without this time, this phase, I wouldn’t have known what it was like to really scrap things together from nothing. I wouldn’t have found a love for the writing I love today. I wouldn’t know know my strength. I wouldn’t know deep parts of me that I wouldn’t have tapped for resources. Now I know the path there and the path back.

I wouldn’t know this woman:

 

[photos by the amazing Catherine Abegg.]

And I kind of like this woman.

And she really likes this song:

I exist. And a lot of who that existence is was formed by the difficult times. Here’s to the huge failures. Here’s to the big swings that are big misses that make waves a decade down the road.

 

[cheers!]

 

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