Just outside Cincinnati, across the Ohio River in Northern Kentucky, there’s a stretch of highway along I-71 and I-75 fondly known as The Cut in the Hill. Heading north, as you round the curve and descend down a steep incline, suddenly the city of Cincinnati is sprawling before you. A perfect, picturesque view of the Queen City that you catch for only a moment before you continue speeding down the interstate.
Exactly a year ago, I remember coming up on The Cut in the Hill as I made my way into Cincinnati to begin my new life here. My sister and I screamed with excitement as she snapped pictures and the U-Haul that my parents were towing rattled along in front of us. It’s a moment that I will never forget – seeing a new city that I would shortly be calling home. Knowing that I had arrived and that I’d be here for the foreseeable future.
Life happens fast. So I run faster.
Actually, I just run longer. I’m not fast at all.
I’m currently in the very early stages of training for my next race, which means adding miles each week. More than a workout or a training regimen, running has become my sort of solace. My energy. My me time.
Today, on #GlobalRunningDay, the weather was perfect for a run, and with each breathless stride I was reminded why running has become such an integral part of my life.
I have this weird thing about spider webs.
As I’m writing this, I’m sitting on my deck in a cheap camping chair I bought at WalMart, still in my dress from work, barefoot. This has become my post-work routine now that the weather has turned – it’s quiet, relaxing, perfectly shaded and the best way to decompress before embarking on the rest of my evening. A good time to break in my deck after a winter of abandonment.
Back to the spider webs.
Tonight I put away my Christmas decorations. My apartment feels a little less cheerful and a little more back to the regularity of everyday life.
While taping up boxes of ornaments and shoving the artificial tree in the closet, I thought of the John Lennon Christmas song “Happy Christmas.” In it, Lennon sings, “And so this is Christmas, and what have you done?”
So now I’m thinking. We’re a week into 2017, and what have I done?
In what felt like the blink of an eye, my August Freedom turned into October Chaos and has now transitioned into November. I say chaos in the best sense of the word. I read a quote that sums it up:
“There’s chaos out there, and chaos means opportunity.”
My chaos has been the best kind. The kind where I’m constantly on the go, trying new things, meeting new people, going all in. I have said yes to every opportunity that has come my way. The last couple months have not been a “get your feet wet” period of time. Instead, I went for the cannonball, and Cincinnati was ready and waiting for me to make a splash.
In honor of turning 25 since my last post, here are 25 highlights of my Cincinnati experience in the last couple months.