Last week, I was running through weeping willows along DC’s riverside. These trees reminded me of drives through Cherokee Park on Sundays in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
Cherokee Park was designed by the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, known for Central Park, Biltmore Estate and many others. I’m currently reading about Olmsted’s part in the design of the World’s Columbian Exposition (also known as Chicago World’s Fair) of 1893 in Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City.
And while this past month has not been plagued by the monstrosities of H.H. Holmes, deemed America’s first serial killer, it has been a whirlwind of events – a pattern, it seems, of this year in general. With all the upheaval that has taken place in my life this past year, one could say I’ve been ready for anything. And I’ve taken the changes in stride.
My life is not what it was six months ago, and I can’t say my current situation is ideal, but in retrospect, it’s been one of the most fun, satisfactory, eye-opening and invigorating months in a long time. I’ve had my ups and downs, but there is a certain peace that comes with clarity.
I am almost grateful for the unexpected and drastic change. Because there are so many individuals – both old and new – who I have had the pleasure of re-connecting with this past month. And those connections have provided me with a new sense of purpose and self-worth. We are so much more resilient than we give ourselves credit for, and in the face of unfortunate alterations, we remain resolute.
As a former mentor so shrewdly reminded me recently: Life sucks sometimes, but that doesn’t mean we suck.