I spent several days with my family at my Aunt's funeral and the other family gatherings. It was sad and yet I was happy to see them. My brother's whole family was sick with upper respiratory nastiness and I overdosed (not really) on Vitamin C tablets. I rode with my sister and dad back up to Salt Lake City for a family Christmas party that had already been planned, and my friend invited me to a Solstice party where I only knew her and her husband. She gave me some very cute clothes to wear, (thank you, Jenni!) because I had nothing but the clothes I had carried while hiking and the clothes I grabbed at GoodWill for the funeral. So I knew I looked great, but so many strangers in such a small place was quite overwhelming. I had to hide in the bathroom a few times, then I found individuals to talk with and it was easier than dealing with the large group. I had to do the same thing with my family gatherings as well.

I feel odd, and sort of detached. A calm island of quiet surrounds me in the midst of seeming chaos. I came back to a slaughter of elementary school kids that makes me want to go back to the trail and hide, and a party nearly every night. I feel good, in cute clothes that fit my body. I am a 14-16 now, at 185 pounds and I feel good about my strong body. This body hiked 2184.2+ miles with a 35 pound pack. I want to keep this strong body. I walked five miles with my sister, but have done no other physical exercise since I finished the AT. That is not a good start, with all this holiday and funeral food and alcohol everywhere. I crave fruits and vegetables, so I've been eating huge plates of salad and maybe a dozen oranges. But I've been eating unhealthy food, too.