One Year Later: She Is More Human Now.



One year later.

One year later, she sits at the same desk, with the birds chirping outside her window as the sunshine sparkles through the trees. It feels like no time has passed, it feels like it was all just a dream. 

One year later, she lives with a new universe inside of her.

Nights spent dancing under the stars with the warm air of the Indian Ocean caressing her sun-kissed skin. Streaks of sunlight captured in the fibers of her hair. Her eyes, electric blue from the aliveness that was emerging from within her heart, a fire within her soul. 

Sunsets on the beach embedded into the fabric of her being, laughing so much that it felt like any sadness that had ever existed in her bones had evaporated into thin air. A feeling of belonging that is fundamental to the human condition. 

Days that began with no plan, and ended with complete contentment. Conversations that explored corners of her mind that she didn’t know existed. 

She sits here one year later with a renewed understanding of who she is and her place in this world. 

The responsibility she feels to share her kindness as the nonverbal language of love and respect, to hold the doors open for those who come after her, and to hold her own consciousness steady regardless of the chaotic field she’s in.

She sits here one year later with the faces of those whom she met along the way, vivid in her mind’s eye. Each smile a helping hand in the journey that was underway, their words unfolding the path before she could see the next step. 

She sits here one year later with a new set of questions:

Do I regret meeting him? Do I wish I had never crossed the seas that separated us? Would I have been better off staying in my little bubble of what I thought the world was? Did I make the right decision in moving to the other side of this planet even though the vision was never destined to be?

Her mind races with these questions, but her heart whispers a more profound truth. 

We are all better off for having tried, failed, and lost. 

We are more humble for having put our heart into something, even if it ended broken into a million pieces of shattered light. The vibrance of that light once our hearts are whole again will change this world.  

We are stronger for pushing our limits and learning that they are far greater than we could have imagined. We learn that we are far greater than our eyes can ever truly comprehend.

The struggles, failures, disappointments — these are what make us human, regardless of the context we feel them in. These feelings are what keep our hearts beating and alive. Emotions — both the good and the bad — aren’t what we are, but rather the great connector of the human condition.  

She sits here one year later, and she is more human.

She smiles.

For that, she will never regret.


Caitlin Climes is a a global explorer and experiential learner who seeks to share her writing as a source of connection for our human experiences. She is currently in the transition from working in children’s mental health and returning to graduate school to learn more about designing systems that engine human well-being. You can catch her soaking up sun on Lake Michigan, applying Frank’s RedHot to almost any dish, or reading a book written by Daniel Quinn.


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