Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Reasons to Celebrate

*All photos are credited to Ali Brodeur.
It was Day 2 of hiking with my friend Ali in the White Mountains. We were about an hour and a half into the hike, and were yet to see a sign for the Fishin Jimmy trail. We figured we'd have a snack at the junction, but it was taking longer to get to it than we thought, and I just thought a fallen tree was a moose. Finally I saw what I thought was the trailhead.

"Celebration junction!" I cried. It's a tradition Ali learned from her prior basketball coaches, who she hikes with a lot. Whenever you come to a junction in the path, you shout, "Celebration junction!" and click your hiking poles together or clap. It's a morale booster. It turns out, though, that what I thought was a trailhead was actually just a sign for a stream. We decided to celebrate anyway, and from that point on celebrated at every landmark we recognized from our White Mountain guide book.

Ali and I said many cheers on our hike. We toasted with brownies, PB&Js, and cinnamon raisin bagels. We took selfies at every lookout and high-fived at each summit. The hiking trip itself was a sort of junction celebration. We both just finished a successful first year at college––schools that we chose, and we're both happy with our choices.

I think about how anxious and nostalgic I was last year at this time. I still feel the nostalgia when I come home to visit, especially when I go back to see my high school's shows, but I long for my high school life less and am better able to appreciate what I had while embracing where I am now. Last summer, I celebrated my graduation from high school. This summer, I'm celebrating the present moment. There may not be a wooden sign nailed to a tree, but I'm still finding many reasons to celebrate. 

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