Here in the valley our autumn days are often cold and dreary, taxing the strength we will need to get us through the winter ahead. When the sunshine peeks out for even a moment I try to take the time to soak up its rays, steeling myself for the inevitable bluster that is bound to follow. By now the gardens stand nearly bare, only the resilient varieties remain, as if in rebellion of the chilly gusts. The urge to escape the foreboding storm is stronger than the restless spring fever I usually experience. It seems that my default strengths and emotions have been altered in my sojourn here. Still one would find cause to wonder if I remained unadapted to my environment. Each new challenge has etched the way I relate to those events that unfold day by day. Some of the marks it has left are deep and painful, but necessary to achieve greater heights of knowledge and independence. I should know by now that when I become satisfied with things as they are, that I have become too attached and dependent on something. Circumstances change, I become unsettled but it produces growth when I am forced out of my comfort zone. Time and time again the lessons seem to have a common theme: I am the only answer I have to my problems. "Because when push comes to shove, I taste what I'm made of. I might bend until I break, because that is all I can take. On my knees I look up, decide I've had enough. I get mad. I get strong. I wipe my hands, shake it off then I stand." Rascal Flatts.