I’m trying to hold onto some hope, although it’s fleeting. Nothing is the worst that it has ever been, although it could be better. Our worlds are full of althoughs. Although we live in the richest country on earth, half of us feel like we’re barely making it. Although we are inundated with privilege and opportunity, we feel lost and alone. Although we have every opportunity for education, we devalue it every chance we get.

Although unions are here to protect us, they also give unfair advantage.

Although teaching is a challenging career filled with failure, students succeed, love, and make us better people.

Although we have faced financial challenges for most of our marriage, we still have perfect credit and no debt.

Although he’s not as tenacious as me, he is much kinder.

Although I’d like to give up, I never would.

I just need to swim through a few more althoughs before boarding that plane. Before celebrating twenty years of my life with a man whom I love, who has been the backbone of every difficult and joyous choice I have made as an adult. Before celebrating forty turns around the sun. Before being, peacefully being, present in the Spanish culture for a summer.

Just a few more althoughs, and I’ll stop subordinating my life to everything negative. I’ll try to twist my sentences into six weeks of sun, six weeks of hope, six weeks to wait for a new beginning.

Although we could have a safety net, we’re about to have the adventure of our lives.

Although these past weeks have been hell, our marriage has mostly been heaven.

Although we’ve lost, we’ve also won.