About twice a year I get enthused about running. Two weeks ago was one of those times, so I went for a run. One of my favorite places to run in Spokane is around the north side of Whitworth’s campus: the “back forty” as the cool college kids say. The back forty consists of a forest, a steep hill, a soccer field, wild fields, miles of trails, a frisbee golf course, and gophers. The gophers are my favorite part of the back forty.

My least favorite part of the back forty is the giant hill I make myself run up and down to punish myself for not running the previous three months.

After summiting Mt. Back Forty on my run the other week, I came across a little spot on the edge of a cliff where I spent an evening by myself freshman year.

Freshman year is hard for everyone. I have no research to back this up, but I am pretty sure I am right. While I had about zero homework and an abundance of free time, I was consumed with understanding who I was in a new environment and in the context of new relationships. Colleges should consider making Figuring Out Who You Are 101 a course because it wiped me out freshman year and I got zero credits for the whole ordeal.

One evening in the spring of freshman year, I took myself out to the top of the back forty with a blanket and a book. I spread my blanket between the wildflowers and looked off over the edge of the cliff. I attempted to process the year’s events and what was to come. Processing came in the form of tears as I quietly watched the sunset.¬†After the sunset, I dried my tears with the toilet paper roll I used (and still use) as tissues, packed up my belongings, and carried on with the rest of the school year.

I laughed as a I ran by the spot because I noticed it was the place on campus with the best view of the house I currently live in. When I felt lost, I was, unknowingly, staring straight at my future.

I used to worry a lot about my future. Who would my friends be? Where would I live? Would I ever not be confused about who I am? The future is made up of unknowns. But over and over again I have learned my future is lined up right in front of me. My future is not unknown, it is simply blurred by my tears.

There is comfort in knowing the future is not a complete mystery. Everything will be alright because the times we feel most desolate are the times we are offered the best glimpse of what is to come.

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