August 30, 2015

A crisp fall breeze whips through your hair. The sun is warm on your face, but hot apple cider in your hands sounds so tempting. You breathe in deep – your lungs can’t get enough of the crisp mountain air. An exhale leaves your breath hanging in front of you, dancing with the sunlight.

I’ve been to a fair before, but this is different. I am with friends. The crew. There are mountains on all sides. We are in Alaska.

I am home.

When did simply doing what we love, stop being enough? Why does the world tell us we have to make more than we can spend, and buy more than we need, or even want?

A great sermon this Sunday had me soaking in these words: “We are meant to pour out everything we have in this life.” What does that mean?  I think it’s subjective and ever changing. But also, I think it is being fully present at all times. Suck all the marrow out of life. We are broken. And life throws us curves all the time…but life is vast and grand.

All the people I’ve met in Alaska so far, have immediately adopted me into their friend group. Never before have I felt so at home and welcomed. It’s been a week and I feel like I’ve known these people for years. Here, life is more than getting a degree, getting a spouse, a dog, a house, white picket fence, a baby, and job security. Here, life is different. Success is subjective. To some people, everything I just listed is the dream, and that’s okay. But that is not my dream.

My idea of success is ever-changing. Currently though, success is Jaclyn getting carmel apple goop all over herself on a ferris wheel, overlooking Alaskan mountains. It is waking up to a text saying, what are you doing today?! Let’s go to the glacier! Fresh coffee made by housemates, first thing in the morning. Seeing the mountains from a curtainless bedroom window, while the smell of incense permeates the air. It is living in the moment. It is having and living with only what could be packed up into a little jeep. It is meeting new people every day, who immediately want you to come rock climbing and snowboarding with them, and immediately refer to you as being part of the crew.


Alaska is derived from the word Alyeska, which means ‘that which the sea breaks against.’

For now, success to me, is living fully in that which the sea breaks against.