Is it the autumn leaves that change? Or the snow that floats from the sky…
A year is both too long and too short. So many times I thought this year would never end, and now that it has, I don’t quite know where it’s gone.
Well, I guess that’s a lie. It’s gone so many places I can’t even recount them all. Every single day has been an adventure. A twist here. A turn there. A little more learning. A little more growing. And suddenly, I’m on the other side: transformed, changed.
That might be a little dramatic too, but at the same time, it’s the honest truth. I leave here a different person than when I walked off the plane one year ago. It’s hard for me to describe, since I’m not the best at really analyzing myself. (If you’re really wondering… ask Zach. He’s really good at it). But I can feel it.
I asked my dear friend Renee if she thought I’d changed at all when she visited in July. Her response: no. I’m the same person I’ve always been. Just a little more grown. Maybe that’s it — that’s what I did in a year. Some growing up. But don’t we all do a little growing each year?
When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about. —Haruki Murakami
And what a storm it’s been. As excited as I am about going home, I often wonder what my answers will be like to questions asked about this year. I theoretically ask them to myself: What was it like? What did you do? What did you learn? What’s next?
I can answer to a certain degree, but words and pictures cannot sum up the experience. Ever. Too many memories and emotions to convey in a single conversation. Too much tundra and sky to capture in a single image. Too much everything to write into a single blog post.
I envisioned this to be a grand reflective conclusion on my year here. And now that I’m here, writing, it’s hard to find the words to adequately describe it. Years, indeed, will be needed to unpack this experience. I guess that’s a good thing, since I’m not saying my farewells just yet. My days as a KNOM volunteer will be ending; however, my days as a dog-handling community DJ are just beginning. Kelly has graciously allowed me to keep my AK Country show on Wednesdays, and I couldn’t be happier. I still get to be a part of the KNOM family, while being able to branch out in other areas.
I sincerely thank KNOM for accepting me; bringing me here; allowing me to learn and grow in ways I’ve never imagined; and introducing me to the beautiful people and things this region has to offer.
The adventure I set out on doesn’t seem to be ending, but rather, rerouting. I much prefer see-ya-laters to goodbyes. And I’m glad I don’t have to say goodbye to this glorious place called Nome yet. This is a strong community in a magical place that is like nothing else in the world. And I am fortunate enough to be here. I am living it.