I turned 35 on February 10. Maybe some people arrive at age 35 and find themselves with serious responsibilities. Like being president. Or a parent. Or professionally. But I’m not one of them.
First of all, I’m not planning to run for president, and even if I were the next election isn’t until next year, so forget that dream for age 35; 36 remains an option. I could technically be a parent in my 35th year, but that’s not in the plan and as I’ve said a million times-pregnancy is a preventable disease. And with regard to professional responsibilities, well, some people may have noticed that I am running away from those as fast I can.
Seriously, I left behind my work as a family nurse practitioner in November, 2014 where I was the primary care provider for more than 2000 patients. The transition was deeply saddening and difficult, and I miss the patients who I had grown to know rather well. But it was a step in fulfilling a goal. I am currently winding down working on clinical vaccine studies with the Group Health Research Institute, a position that I have quite enjoyed and that I would appreciate the opportunity to return to one day. But probably not when I’m 35.
My 35th year is devoted to learning brand new skills. So far, I’m on target. My first day of my 35th year my husband, Tim, and I were falling down a mountain near Lake Louise in the magnificent Canadian Rockies in the company of our hilarious and patient New Zealand friends, Christie, Kim, and Lyndsey, while attempting to learn downhill skiing. For me, a trail runner who lives life at 3-5 miles per hour, downhill skiing is terrifying. But I stuck with it, and got better, and by the end I was making it down some intermediate runs.
In April, I will begin walking the Pacific Crest Trail, an iconic 2600 mile, North American mountain trail that traverses the West Coast mountain ranges including the Sierras and the Cascades and goes from Mexico to Canada. It will take Tim and me 4-5 months to complete, if we complete it. I say “if” because on any given previous year, thousands are known to start the trail, but only hundreds finish. So, I’ll avoid going into this feeling too cocky. After all, I’ve never spent more than 5 consecutive days on trail.
After the PCT, I hope to get serious about learning Spanish. So serious, that I think I’ll be moving to Central or South America for a while. And why not get really good at surfing while I’m there, right?