Well strangers, I'm out of my apartment for good. Sorry if you were trying to stalk me and you just found out where I was living. I promise to give you enough information in future blog posts to piece together my whereabouts again so you can come and murder me with an ax. Honestly though, I would prefer if you did it in a less gruesome way. Also, if you're going to take Paul Cyclemon, he'll need a new chain soon. And I swear Larry smelled that way when I bought him.

Daniel, Krishelle, and I will embark on a couchsurfing survival quest through parts of eastern Europe tomorrow as a final adventure before the next great one in Palau. Stay tuned for some dramatic and strange stories over the next few weeks. And if you could all call 911 on about Thursday and let them know I'm in lots of trouble and need an ambulance and a fire truck, there's a pretty good chance it will be true and I'll be happy you cared enough to send help.

It's so so strange to see my year in Salt Lake City come to an end. I've sort of had more than a year here, but I've been working for a judge in the city on a one year contract and that one year came to a screeching halt on Friday. Between trying to finish up my job and move myself and all 2 billion useless items I have collected over the last year but can't seem to give up, one could say that last week was a bit stressful.

Lots of change. Lots of strange. Business as usual.

It's been a good year in Salt Lake City. What a great little town. So many new and wonderful friends. So much excitement and disappointment. So much unsurety and so much excitement because of the unsurety.

I was thinking recently about how we so often dread the passage of time. We hate the thought of how old we'll be at our next birthday. Or what it means that it's already been 5 or 10 or 30 years since we finished college, or had a baby, or bought that first Snuggie, or whatever. And I guess we dread that passage of time because it means that that time is now gone forever. Or, we see the number of days as a count of lost opportunities.

We see time in the present and the future as an asset. And the more we have of it, the better off we are. Why? Is it because we expect to fill that time with something valuable? To what end? To enjoy the moment? To have something to look back on later with fondness?

And often we see passed time as a liability. We view years as "baggage" if they've already happened, but if they haven't, "the world is our oyster," or however that saying goes.

But I really think this is totally backwards. Because if we're doing it right, time that has passed should be our greatest asset. If we're living the right way, the days that have happened won't represent lost opportunities, but gained experiences. And those experiences, hard, exciting, confusing, and strange, make up all the parts of ourselves that make it possible for us to understand and enjoy the world now, despite all its imperfections.

The choice is ours to make. Gain those experiences. Develop that persona. And give a little more to the world around you so that soon you'll be proud that a certain day has passed rather than wish you could try again.

Not saying that I'm perfect at seizing the day or making the best use of every second in it. But my long and sometimes arduous Salt Lake year is ending. And I'm not sad that it's over. I'm happy that it happened. And I'm excited for all the experiences in it, be they brag-worthy, or embarrassing, to make the next phase all that more worthwhile.

Glad to have you all with me on the ever-changing journey. For stranger or worse.

~It Just Gets Stranger