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I remember

September. I take my first running steps and settle into stride as my heart rate catches up and levels off. The air is brisk, clean, fresh. It is the perfect temperature for a 7 a.m. run: I can wear my black Oregon State University T-shirt and my onyx running shorts. My mind is clear, my stress level is low. I don't remember if or when such a scenario actually occurred, but I do remember the feelings and that there were many scenarios similar to it in my early teen years. Autumn was my favorite season: irrigating fields was over for the summer, my birthday was in a few weeks, and every other Friday night my sister and I would attend my cousin's football game. Maybe we would get to eat ice cream afterward and stay up kind of late and talk.
I miss the simplicity of life back then -- so, so very much. I am on the cusp of my twenty-first birthday, and in just a few days I'll be back in Ellensburg, mentally preparing myself for the hardest exam I've ever taken. The last few …

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