This photo of me, sitting on a small section of wall and--looking back-- was taken just minutes after
I completed my many-months-long journey of China's Great wall.
I finished The Wall in Shanhaiquan...where the Eastern section
of The Great Wall ends at Bohai Bay. I had chosen to sit a moment--- reflect on my journey's end--- and attempt to control my emotions.
Nothing and No One could have prepared me for the shocking sadness I felt after successfully-completing My Dream of a Lifetime. My Heart couldn't accept the fact--My Lifetime Dream was over. I had no idea the journey's end would overwhelm me with such sadness. At the time this photo was taken by a Chinese Photographer--I was much-more-sad than ---happy.
Yet-- despite my unexpected emotions at that moment---I realized --- how
fortunate I was to be the first woman to travel--on foot--the length of The Great Wall of China. Yes, I'd held-tight to my dream since I first-saw it--then read about it-- in my fourth grade Geography Book. Thanks to my fourth grade teacher, Ms. Moore,
the Geography Book has been with me--through all these years.
I've lived an amazing life. Regardless of my life's many
complications, I've been blessed. Many people say "Never look back--only forward." But, I disagree.
Looking back-- has helped me realize how far I've come to get where I am today. I marvel at my missteps; all my many falls; how often I stumbled; yet---through it all---I learned to stop counting the number of
times I fell down and--- instead--- count the number of times I've picked myself up.
If we never look back, how can we appreciate our many accomplishments-- successes-- meaningful moments-- and the ability to triumph over life's endless challenges?!?!? There's no doubt about it. I couldn't have reached Today---without
your friendship. Please continue to stay close.