Tuesday, January 28, 2014


We just crossed the halfway mark here in Rio, and I've found that around the halfway mark is where the exhaustion sets in. The beginning of every city is so filled with newness; Physically, mentally, and spiritually, I find myself renewed by unfamiliar surroundings, like the first snowfall of winter or finding a new favorite restaurant in a city you've lived in your entire life. The unfortunate side to this beginning phase is that, at some point, the freshness wears off as the city becomes more and more familiar. The fortunate side to the halfway mark is that, by this point, I don't feel guilty staying in and relaxing or going back to that one restaurant instead of trying another new one, and I definitely don't feel guilty spending all morning in bed recovering from the first four or five weeks of shows.


It's kind of like this hike that Max and I went on a week ago. We decided to hike Pedra Da Gávea, the largest mountain that directly connects to the ocean. We heard it was around two hours up and two hours down, but kind of like life, it was an unexpected 7 hours total, including some free climbing up steep, slick rock, multiple cliffs with sliding gravel, and a headache because I forgot to have my morning coffee. At the starting point of the hike, we were excited and anticipatory of what the day would bring, and so it began.

The of Pedra Da Gávea from our hotel room

Near the beginning of the 844 meter hike up Pedra Da Gávea


I know this halfway mark is the hardest for me. I begin to miss my family, and there are days when the tears start flowing just at the mention of my sister's name. My body doesn't seem to function like it did at the beginning of the city; I rely on more coffee, more sleep, and I accept the fact that I will go to sleep with pain and pain will still be there in the morning. I keep pushing through because I know this season will be over in short time. On the other side, toward the end of the city, it's as if the freshness reappears, and the excitement of the future carries me to the finish line. This city is especially unique because my father-in-law is coming to Rio, and he will be our first visitor on tour. Max and I are also heading to Houston after Rio, and I know that I will get to follow my big sister around like the little sister that I am, refusing to leave her side and indulging in her overprotective, motherly, and irreplaceable friendship. I won't stop kissing my nieces and nephew, I'll cuddle on the couch with the dogs, and I'll laugh when my brother jokes about... everything. I will cry tears of joy when I arrive, and I will cry for days after I leave, and when I arrive in Porto Alegre, the entire process will begin again, as if life is less linear than it is circular.


The beginning of the hike was a steep brick path, and I remember joking about already being out of breath. Sometimes when we start our journey, we are expecting it to be effortless, sweat free, and untroublesome. The brick path was by far the easiest part of the hike, and from there, the difficulty continued to amplify and expand until we reached the top. 

Making our way toward the top


Lately, my mind has been wandering and wondering more and more about life's seasons. I feel like I am at a place where I understand the importance of life's highs and the lows, the stagnant and the moving, the bitter and the sweet. Since we have been on tour, we have missed birthdays, family holiday gatherings, and the birth of our first nephew on the Schmidt side. While we were missing those events, we have a whole list of amazing, once in a lifetime opportunities that we have had on tour.

Before I go to bed, I often scroll through Pinterest craving the season of life that will allow me to pick out paint for the guest bedroom or try that new crockpot apple pie and ice cream recipe that makes my mouth water when I see it. I long for the feeling of home; The smell of dinner fresh from the oven, a pile of overdo laundry next to the washing machine, my husband sitting on the couch yelling at the Buckeyes, and sounds of children playing in the background. The longing comes on fast and strong, and I quickly have to remind myself that I was longing for the exact place that I'm in right now less than six months ago.

I'm learning that I shouldn't feel guilty for longing for the next season or missing the season before. In fact, if I allow them too, the past and present are capable of boosting my appreciation for my current season. When I think back on the time when I was single, the period of dreaming on a contract with Cirque Du Soleil, or the years I spent training 5+ hours a day as a gymnast, I am inclined to realize how blessed I am to have a God-given husband, God-given career, and God-given talent. I don't believe that life is random; the season that you're in, the season that I'm in, the season that your neighbor is in, maybe it's all part of a plan, and those plans are probably all linked somehow.

I know some who have recently lost friends, parents, and unborn children. I know some who, like me, miss their families and long for home. I know others who are new parents, recently received promotions, or another who is doing her best to do more of a starting over than a renewing, kind of like switching to Verizon rather than staying with T-Mobile (which I recommend). Whatever season you're in, maybe it's not time to ignore the past and present, but to use them to help you embrace the exact place that you're in right now, at the specific longitude and latitude, this instant.

I might be really missing a home cooked meal, but like roasted lemon pepper chicken or crispy cinnamon and sugar apple slices, life's seasons continue to season me, making me more appreciative of the bitter and the sweet.


Sometimes, most of the time, the seasons are worth it. If we choose to let the beautiful and the rough mold us with new impressions, then we are able to see more clearly, be more appreciative, and accept our seasons. When we remember what it feels like to be at the top, we learn to welcome each season, every opportunity, any occasion because we know where it leads us.

Flyers... get it?

The man who convinced, and still convinces, me to do it all

Sorry, mom.

Embrace it; All of it.

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