Things have been really beautiful and confusing and full of love and sad and adventurous and scary and hilarious. You know, the usual.
But wow. That was one hell of a year.
Back in October, Yosemite-bound after a few weeks back in Canada, I drove along its the winding road. The full moon doused the granite and the pines in her silver hue. The light looked dense and heavy. It was so bright, I wasn’t sure what good my headlights were doing. I gulped down as much of it as I could.
I thought about how much this year changed me. The desire for this experience and its eventual manifestation, came in like a wildfire, hot and crackling, and burned everything that wasn’t real. To be honest, the desire for it was scary and painful and I questioned it a thousand times. I was aware of what was happening, and I knew what I was being asked to do, but I clung to it all for the longest time. I was afraid of what I would be left with, or more likely, what I would not be left with.
But at some point, and I’m not sure when, freedom’s flames were so hot and breathing with such a power that I had no choice. They engulfed me entirely and I had to let go, I had to surrender, I had to give up control. So I did, and things are a whole lot better now. But wow. There was some crazy shit.
Here is what I learned:
To hell with anything that doesn’t bring me joy. To hell with people who are reckless with my heart. To hell with anything that isn’t honest. To hell with the haters. To hell with being afraid of speaking my mind. To hell with staying small, trying to fit in, feeling shame about anything at all, not being weird, and talking shit to myself. To hell with not eating cinnamon rolls. To hell with not drinking wine and mega fuck tonnes of coffee. To hell with being all like, oh I really wanna do that but I shouldn’t because that’s not what “good” climbers/women do. To hell with turning down my music at a stoplight. To hell with not standing in my power.
To hell with forgetting that I own who I am.
And all of that sounds like, well yeah, of course you should do ‘to hell with all of that’, but acting on and implementing that attitude has been pretty hard. It’s scary. We’re all just so conditioned. We’re puppets to our judgements and habits. And that shit runs deep, deeper than bones. Breaking and burning these things is hard work, but it’s important work, and it’s good work.
And then, as one does, I turned 30. If you would have asked me at 21 what I thought I would be doing at 30, my answer would be something like: probably married, putting a down payment on a house, thinking about kids, going to brunch on Sundays. Jesus. I don’t know why I set such low expectations for myself. And don’t get me wrong, I think that a lot of people can do all of that at my age and it’s good and life-affirming and healthy for them, but that isn’t me. And it never has been. Sometimes I am jealous of those people because their lives appear less complicated, more steady. But that probably isn’t true at all. We’re all just winging it and life is crazy no matter what.
And it’s awesome because the way I thought I might like living is turning out to be pretty goshdarn great.
For the entirety of the year, I felt like one of those flowers on the Discovery channel, blooming in high speed. It was wild in every sense of the word. And now that work is here, I can feel things starting to slow down. I’m thankful for that because I’m pretty tired –really filled up to the brim with truth and goodness – but tired. The darkening of the days is really comforting.
The moon stayed by my side for the entire drive back to Yosemite. Her full face was beaming with nothing short of holiness. One last night of setting everything on fire before she starts to grow dark again. There was a magic to this year that felt so real and tangible that I can’t help but know that everything that happened was okay. That I am going to be okay. This is a wild life. This is a good life. I’ve been broken a thousand times and walked with darkness up to my eyes but I still know that love never fails. I mean, come on. Of course it doesn’t. There is a lot of fun to be had here. To hell with anything not rooted in truth. Give me all of it. I’m not afraid anymore.