I am hopeful that while meandering through these obstacles, I might find a path, to lead me toward something bigger, boulder, and perhaps toward the sweet solace of clarity. I know we find clarity for fleeting moments, but as we stumble through life we may find them more often, if we practice the craft of acknowledgement.
At this moment I sit in my backyard, basking in the healing nature of the sun, hopeful that its rays will lend me strength and wash away this sickness that has taken over my body the last few days. I have time on my hands today, and hope in my heart. I see this as a time to grow.
My life right now is good, and I am thankful for what I have, but I am once again searching for more, waiting for a muse to catch me, like Peter Pan's shadow, persistently taunting me into wonderful adventures. Some people are born knowing exactly what they want to do, they work hard at it, and acquire it, and I am hopeful in some space within, they find a sense of belonging once they have acquired it. My sister is one of those people.
She is such an impressive person. Even when we were tiny children she was fascinated by rocks. Not just the shiny ones. The grey, the brown, the broken and jagged, the white, the crystaled, the green. I never understood, until much advanced into adulthood, that she was actually fascinated by their stories, rather than their structure. Now, I feel as if I finally see through the lens she was using all those years. I no longer roll my eyes at yet another rock. I no longer dismiss her enthusiasm at that plane grey slate, because that plane grey slate has been here longer than I, and it will continue to tell it's story long after mine has been forgotten.
Over the past few years I have moved around, quite a bit! I have loved every single moment of adventure and all the new possibilities it has placed in my path. Possibilities wrapped in skin, and sauntering into my life like a cowboy into a saloon after a long hard ride. Meeting the right person, at the right time, in the most random of places. This happens daily in our normal routine lives, we just might not pay it any mind, nor lend it the thought or time, because it seems less exotic and therefor falls away dismissed and unnoticed.
I have been re-awakened this week. I say re-awakended, because it is often the case in life that we must learn lessons more than once, to be reminded of their importance. I had put my heart away many months ago, (perhaps a few years ago), and for whatever reason, refused to get it back out. I can only assume it was some sort of self inflicted punishment driven by guilt, because I have been gifted the hearts of others and while in my possession I have left deep bruises upon them. Never intentionally, mind you, but these sorts of casualties happen when we are not open and honest.
Honesty is brutal. Like all the rocks my sister loved and I could not find the beauty in, honesty is a plane grey slate.
I have been very self deprecating. We are all our own worst critics.
I work with a lot of incredible, talented, kind and giving people for a company which I take a great deal of pride in, because they are ethically aware of their impact on their community and environment and they understand that what we do, on any scale, matters. The fine people I work with, have the same mind-set in their personal lives and I feel very impressed with all of them. One man whom I work with, comes to work every day and says positive wonderful things to me, and everyone else around him every day. I love his read on people and situations. It's very accurate. John shocked me one day when he said "You would be a very hard woman to date. I can see that." I laughed, agreed, and asked why he thought so. He replied "It's because you seem to expect a lot of people." So honest. So straight. I said, "I do. I expect the most of people because they have so much to give."
I hold myself to the same expectations, and probably more so. And at this point, I have impressed myself with what I am capable of, which has then raised the stakes, and every time I reach one of those stakes, I pull it out, put it as far from reach as I can muster, and drive it in again. One goal after the next after the next after the next.
I feel I have recently pulled the last stake out, but have yet to find a place to drive it. I'm just standing here stupidly spinning in circles looking for direction. I'm stuck in a dream playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey, but I realize I'm having a nightmare, where I showed up to the wrong party, tail in hand, and I look down to realize I am not wearing any pants. And why doesn't anyone seem to be alarmed at the human sized armadillo, wearing a top hat, holding a cane, standing by the keg over there? Does nobody else think that's weird!? Where are my pants!?
I had a bout of honesty come to me in the form of three phone calls. What, am I Ebenezer Scrooge!?
Yesterday my friend, and one of my climbing partners called me out of the blue, just to say hello and mention that he misses seeing me around. Our schedules haven't been lining up the last few weeks.
I am not an avid phone talker. I actually get anxiety on the phone. I much prefer in-person talks, but sometimes you must resort to the phone. We talked for about 15 magical minutes, and in the midst of being so sick, I felt wonderful and loved. Thanks Eric, my magical unicorn man!
Immediately after getting off the phone with him, literally about 30 seconds later, my friend Adam called. He was driving to Mt Hood for some skiing and much needed relaxation. Adam is the chef whom I worked with in Alaska last summer, forming bonds and friendships which can never be explained with words, as they often can't. We caught up. We talked for about 20 minutes. I needed that.
I got two very coveted texts from old friends in the last 2 days just saying they were thinking about me. They will never know how much I needed that. Dallas and Jodi.
Then today, I was scheduled to work, but as I have mentioned I am quite sick. I would be more than willing to work through it, but it's not like I am pushing papers in an office. Unfortunately I couldn't find anyone to cover my shift so I headed into work. As I was walking to work, an old friend who no longer lives in town called me and he happened to be in a coffee shop right across the street from where I work. So I warned him of my illness, which he didn't seem to mind, found him on the way to work and got a glorious hug. I walked into the work meeting, and everyone looked at me strangely asking why I was there, even though I was given the permission to stay home. My wonderful managers found a way to cover my shift and told me to stay home, but alas I did not receive the message, so I showed up for our work meeting at 10, and was thankfully dismissed. I work in the food industry and no one wants a germ factory handling their food. After I was relieved of my work duties I found Ben again, he gave me a ride home, and we had a brief but glorious talk in the sunshine of my backyard.
Its funny to feel so cruddy and so happy at the same time.
All this time I have been so hard on myself, because I expect so much, and I have been struggling with what to do next, I have been shutting myself off to all the wonderful gifts I have met along the way. And I just want to say thank you.
Thank you to anyone who has ever written me a letter, or typed me an email, just because. Thank you to anyone who has ever loved or hated my work, and invested their time into telling me why. Thank you to my friends and family for watching my neurosis take me to the far corners of the earth, searching for connection and adventure even though we find it on the daily. Thank YOU, for reading this silly blog.
I don't know where to drive my next stake, just like I don't know why no one is concerned about that armadillo in a top-hat standing next to the keg in my dream of pantless embarrassment. What baffles me most, and is one of those lessons I must relearn and relearn because it is of the utmost importance, is why I have forgotten to appreciate all those connections and all those ties I have made along the way. If you are reading this, you should know, in some way you have been important to me. I thank you for that.
And to Adam, Eric, and Ben, thank you for the reminders.
And to the glorious praying mantises who laid two conjoined nests on the fence in my back yard, I thank you for your presence, and am blessed to have your company. See you soon little hatchlings!
Don't forget the little things.