The winter here in Alaska took a huge toll on me. Sure, I can deal with the cold in some ways, but the darkness really got to me. The shortest day of "sunlight" really meant 4 hours of "dusk" and I didn't know whether to wake up or go to sleep. It was confusing! My job didn't help me either. It was lonely because all of my co-workers worked an hour away and I know that I started to get depressed. I had a few meltdowns on the kitchen floor as a result. Poor Joey...he was so supportive and I would have fled the state of Alaska if he weren't around.
Obviously, things just kept getting better and better for me as the sun started to peek out more and more. I still feel a little bit bitter towards the Alaskan winter, but Joey and I made it through and that's amazing to me. I was questioning whether I should leave my job as a tobacco prevention educator for the summer, so that I could reacquaint myself with real life humans. :) So, in May, I quit that job to start working at Denali ATV again. I feel at least 95% better. The girls I work with are great and I'm even developing some close friendships again. It feels so good. So good!
During the past couple of months (mostly when I decided to make the big move to Alaska), Joey and I have been talking a lot about marriage and marrying each other. With the big move, I was nervous to talk about it for a while because moving somewhere with somebody was a huge commitment and I had to get used to that idea first. We have had a ton of conversations since then and it wasn't until the past couple of months that I finally started to get excited about the possibility of marriage rather than being scared of it like I have been for the past couple of years.
On May 24, 2014 Joey and I went for an ATV ride into the backcountry of Alaska to "check out some ATV trails" to see if they were adequate for tours. We were riding for about an hour before a wall of ice blocked us from going any further. We turned around and went to another beautiful spot, but the trees blocked us from going up the mountain any further, so we parked the ATV and hiked the rest of the way to what we call "third overlook." It overlooks the Healy mountain range and the view is breathtaking. See?
He set up a camera and was pretending to take a picture, but was actually recording all of this. After he "took this picture" (we actually pulled it from the video), he ran back to the camera to "fix it" and came back and asked me to marry him.
We are getting married!!!