The Sohnis took a family trip to Alaska a couple of weeks ago now, and the post-semester peace as well as the breathtaking landscape inspired some thoughts in my mind. One of my greatest fears is that I will not do everything that I can possibly do to ensure a fulfilling life for myself before it ends. Fulfillment looks different for everyone and difficulty can be found in deciphering how it looks for oneself, removed from everyone else’s noise.

As my family was driving down Seward Highway, hiking mountains, and taking in the piercingly blue waters that Alaska has to offer, I thought about all of the places that I have had the privilege of visiting over my lifetime thus far and all of the people whom I have met because of these opportunities. I realized that my fulfilling life is right in front of me. I am living it. I have lived an eventful life for a typical twenty three year old. If the world were to stop today, I could be content with my experiences and proud of my accomplishments. I could find solace in the relationships that I have built.

My life is uniquely mine, and no one else is living inside of me. I can take this concept and run with it in the moments of uncertainty. I have days during which I feel as though I am not making the most of my time. I fixate on every second “wasted” and ask myself how lying in my bed, staring at the ceiling, or scrolling through my phone are taking advantage of the life that I was given. I think that these moments are necessary as well because they make us human. They remind us that living a full life does not occur in each passing second, but rather in the experience as a whole. I can rest if it equates to giving my friends the energy that they deserve when I meet them later in the day. I can scroll through my phone if if means that I will be fully present when I’m exploring a new pocket of the world with my family.

This post is a measure of gratitude. While I do my best to live every day with appreciation, moments like the ones that I had on this family trip reinforce the feeling. We were sitting in coffee shops and restaurants, and happened to meet people who were also from Minnesota. We happened to run into my dream dog, as well as my brother’s dream dog, within the same hour. We met a famous Bollywood playback singer at our hotel, and my dad exchanged numbers with him. We took a boat cruise to Portage Glacier with enough space to move around on the top deck because we visited Alaska before the peak visiting season. We ate dinner at the restaurant across the street from the hotel, and they happened to have karaoke that night. I was able to sing “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5 to a crowd full of strangers. All of these moments made me feel as though we were meant to visit Alaska during this time. We were meant to be here, with these people, at these exact moments. Funnily enough, my family was originally planning on visiting Iceland, but my brother’s passport expired during this time, so I suggested Alaska instead. The stars aligned, and for this reason alone, I know that I am doing all of the right things to ensure that my life is full.

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