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“Stuff your eyes with wonder. Live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” 
-Ray Bradbury

Earlier this week I stumbled across this quote by one of my favorite authors and I instantly resonated with it. Lately I’ve been feeling so stagnant and incredibly unenthused about life. Things are not bad by any stretch of the imagination, yet I could just feel that something was off. So, I do what every normal person does when they feel like that: wake up at four in the morning to go on a sunrise hike, duh.

As I drove to the parking lot of the conservation, I made sure to roll down the windows to feel the warm air of an Arizona morning tickle my skin, and proceeded to sing Hozier off key and incredibly loud. I had forgotten how nice it is to be awake when no one else is. There’s something about an empty road and bright stars that just always make me feel alive, as cliche as that sounds.

By the time I parked at the trailhead it was already a sweltering 90 degrees with 20% humidity, let me remind you the sun wasn’t even up. As I hiked, I thought about life. Within the last year I have changed so much as a person, and can honestly say for the better. I started a new school, I left the town I had called home for the last fourteen years. I lost friends I thought I would keep in touch with forever, and I met new ones that have become such a vital part of my life. I graduated high school and now I’m gearing up to start at a university in the fall. Life is starting, there is no denying it, and as I walked through the sleepy desert I thought about how genuinely exciting that is.

Yet, at the same time my heart was heavy. Two days ago I heard news of an old friend passing away in a terrible auto accident. She was one of the most positive, understanding, and loving people I’ve ever had the pleasure of encountering. Her family has suffered an enormous loss and I cannot even begin to fathom what they are going through. So, if you feel called to donate, a Go Fund Me has been set up and you can access it here.

As I watched the sunrise I thought of how short life is. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, and it’s up to us to appreciate every morning we’re given. You must love the ones around you, and try only to lift them higher. As the morning progressed I felt so much more in tune with myself. I realize now that by disconnecting myself from the pressures of day to day life, I am able to find answers to questions I thought I couldn’t answer.

The Bradbury quote is a beautiful reminder to never lose your sense of wonder. Experiences will always be worth more than a tangible item, and adventure will always be available to those willing to go the extra mile to find it. As I pack my bags for Fiji, I can’t help but be excited for the adventures to come. As nervous as I may be about leaving the familiar for a month, my craving for exploration and new experiences won’t quiet down. I believe one must constantly go outside of their comfort zone to grow, so here I go.

Here’s to stuffing our eyes with wonder.

XX// Gypsy Drifting

Stuff Your Eyes with Wonder

AJ

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