A Grand Life / by Richelle Ouellette

grand canyon sunrise

I've always wanted to... So I did.

I wavered on my decision to go this far out of my way (gas money, time, lack of gear for this weather), but after a brief pause I knew I had to. Call it FOMO if you must, but yes, I am afraid of missing the moments that give my life meaning, of being caught up in the rat race, and of waking up one day 25 years from now wondering where my life has gone.

Last night, when I asked the man who checked me into my hotel for viewpoint recommendations, he responded that he has never watched the sunrise here. He's lived outside the park since 1991. Who am I to judge; he's probably quite content with his life which includes sleeping past 8am, but I will not settle for content.

Standing in solitary stillness on Yaki Point with frozen toes and frozen tears I want to trap this feeling in a jar like a lightening bug and let it glow inside me forever. 

I want to lead with my heart and lean into the awkwardness of meeting new people, the vulnerability of falling for someone, the pain of heartache and loss, the embarrassment of making a mistake, and the anxiety of waiting for something I long for. These are the moments that remind us we are human and which open the doors to learning, joy, and love. 

I want to push myself to new horizons, come to the edge of what I think is possible and soar beyond it; take risks that simultaneously terrify and thrill me, and explore every inch of the world around me with the curiosity of a toddler. 

How often do we take for granted the beauty that lies around us? And not even the special, Grand Canyon-esque views. What about the creases around our grandparents' eyes from years of laughter, the sharp red sunsets when we're stuck in traffic on the way home from a long day, or the change in a person's countenance when they bump into someone they know. Though intangible, we have to grasp onto these fleeting scenes and hold on tight for as long as we can.

Forget the obstacles standing in your way. It's not about having time, or money, or the perfect circumstances. It's about what your priorities are... and you are too smart to be the only thing standing in your way.