I have a confession to make…
living in Alaska has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.
The summers here are beautiful and shiny and bright and full of sunshine and warm air (sometimes). Summer is full of camping and hiking and taking walks and trips to the park. It’s full of open windows, cool breezes and lots and lots of sunshine.
Winter is hard.
Winter is dark and grey. Multiple shades of grey. 50 Shades plus. Easy. It’s bleak and dreary. It’s rainy and cold and full of howling wind, snow, rain, and ice. It’s black and charcoal colored. Full of gravel covered roads that have been covered to help with the ice. It’s dry and damp at the same time.
It’s difficult to be here…to be so far from home as it is. But winter makes it all the more difficult.
Winters out here bring out all of the negative. It brings out all of the insecurities and the bad habits. There’s no motivation, no desire to get out and go anywhere. There’s no internal drive to do anything. Even getting up out of the bed every day is hard. Crawling out of bed when the sun doesn’t come up until almost 10:00 am is next to impossible.
Finding the energy to put 100% into work, or cleaning, or exercising…is a full time battle.
Maybe it’s a mix of winter added on top of the post-baby blues. Whatever it is, I’ve had a hard time overcoming the slump this year. I’m lonely despite being surrounded by my wonderful boys (all three of them) and some close friends.
I’m tired, despite Jonah’s increasingly more routine sleep schedule and the occasional day time nap.
I’m feeling gloomy and insecure because I can’t find the drive or the motivation to make a go at losing these last 10 pounds and toning myself back up.
I know that we’ll come out of winter soon. The days are already getting longer. In fact, we’ve gained two hours of sunlight in the last month alone. The rain seems like it might be trying to let up a bit lately. We’ve seen more sunny days and the surge in Vitamin D already has me itching to get out more and do more.
We’re planning our first trip back to the lower 48 this summer. A trip home to see the family we’ve been missing since we left Alabama in January 2011. A trip to the beach to soak up as much sunshine and humidity as we can. A few visits to the lake and amusement parks and baseball games. Anything and everything to make a go at a “normal” summer before we come back to Alaska to finish out our final year in the “last frontier.”
I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I see the horizon and the end of this long, drawn out journey. And I’m thankful.
Thankful for the opportunity to live and experience Alaska, even if it hasn’t been my favorite of experiences.
Thankful for the chance to photograph and take in what I consider to be one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen…even if I would have rather visited instead of lived here for almost four years.
Thankful for the friends we’ve made and the memories that life here has brought.
But I’ll be glad to go. I’ll be glad to make my way back to the lower 48. Back towards sunshine and an existence full of bright colors and contrast and warmth. Instead of being surrounded by the 50 shades of Grey that the Alaskan winter brings.
Thanks to all of you who offered up encouragement via Twitter, blog comments, and direct emails after I mentioned that I was struggling a bit right now. After my dip into PPD when Noah was born, I’ve been a lot more conscious of my triggers and aware of what is going on with my emotions. I appreciate everyone’s genuine concern! You guys make me smile!