I am writing this as my flight goes over the snow-topped San Francisco Peaks that belong to Flagstaff. But my writing was delayed because I just passed over the tri-city area, and it took me a minute to realize that I was looking at the majority of my life from miles up in the sky, all summarized in a small area.

Yeah, I had lived in Phoenix as well, and I flew out of there this morning at what I consider an ungodly hour. And, I was able to look at some personal historic landmarks there as wee: the 101 and the 10, where I sometimes drove to see my ex, or the east side of the valley where some of my closest friends are.

But the flight over Prescott Valley, Prescott and Chino Valley were the most poignant. I made a point to get some pictures of it with my phone, and I know they’ll be shoddy, but they were significant to me. In such a small area of this entire world, I grew, was challenged by a crucible at times, had my heart broken, laughed, learned and changed my mind on so many things. I made friends, enemies, struggled and thrived. It was amazing to me that in such a small area, so much had happened.

And from up here, it seems so full. I look over it, and there is nothing else to be had there. As much as it will pain me to go, I must. I need to work on myself, and it is going to happen in the Pacific Northwest. Heh, it’s so proper that the computer makes me capitalize it. How fitting.

I know my friends understand why I must go. But in the long term, I hope I remember why I had to. This next leg of the journey is not going to be easy. I am going to be challenged anew. As my World of Warcraft friends would coin it, I have leveled enough to go into the next zone. This zone I have lived in, I can easily traverse it seems, rarely challenged. It’s about to start all over again.

And this is why we live.