My pillow smells like your hair and the house smells like bacon. Two glasses of white wine, watching the sun struggle to break free. A kitty with a scar begs for shrimp on the deck, meowing and jumping, furry little paws. A man stumbles through the crosswalk. His smoothy spills over the sides of his plastic cup. It looks like its going to rain, but we all lay still in the sand.
For a second, I let myself forget, I let myself be unprepared. But there it was, the morning I wasn’t looking for it, the morning I wasn’t hoping for it. When did everything get so heavy for me? When did I lose sight of my lightheartedness?
You excel in challenging and creative environments, Brittany. You can do this.
There is so much to write about, but I’m stuck inside of my head. “That’s just life, honey” mom says. “Sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t.” I hate having to be responsible at this point. Dreams are expensive. Getting where I want is coming with a heavy price tag. (Of course, I’m not just talking about money when I talk about heavy price tags. ) I know I am not the only one. A good friend just turned down an amazing job opportunity because she cannot afford the transportation costs. We are both normal, capable, educated, employed women who cannot afford their dreams. Our flaw is that we are following dreams against the current and we are too stubborn to get comfortable anywhere that isn’t directly supporting the dream. Hell, we wont even admit that our arms are tired. We won’t admit that we are out of breath… like, maybe just take a break on shore for a minute, will ya, Brittany?
And what about all the other people? I have established a good credit and I can purchase the plane ticket. I know Ill be able to buy a sandwich when I am hungry. I have family. I have community. But what about all the other people who aren’t privileged in the same ways? The way I feel now… I feel… like, I can see how so many people are crushed before they ever begin.
Its been a few days since I’ve spent a morning on the porch in the sun. I have kind of mindlessly pushed through the last week. But there is a new light in my life which helps me to hope.
“Replace your hurt with hope” our Reverend says.
My sensitive self has been so upset by feeling so disrespected at my job that I have let it consume me. For a few days there I really let myself forget that the people sitting at my tables are people. Humans. Its easy to desensitize. Its easy to be a robot. But maybe with a little more hope and a few more smiles I can change my perspective… maybe I can change someone elses. It sounds frilly and dumb sometimes. But being a robot just makes me sad. If I can approach things with hope, with more positivity maybe the experience will be a little different. Or better. Maybe it won’t. But maybe it will.
Hm. Maybe I’m not really writing about my job anymore.
“So you know you struggle with spouts of depression, but the mornings when it hits the hardest never fail to throw you off your guard. When you’re having a good day, its impossible to remember how bad the bad days feel– the tight chest, living and breathing from minute to minute, relentlessly winding yourself up. At least having a label helps you define it. To fight it. After awhile you learn to push through it, knowing a beautiful moment will follow, eventually.”
I’m posting this two days after I wrote it. It was Sunday morning, Easter morning. I can barely remember feeling so terrible. Yet, Easter turned out to be an absolutely incredible day! The beautiful moment was right there, just in front of me, waiting for me to force myself out of bed and out the door.
“We could meet our soulmates tonight..” right, Chelsea?
Getting off work tonight, the moon was calling to me. The island was empty aside from a few sun burnt stragglers and a light late night breeze. The sand was cool and the moonshine was confusingly bright. How could the moon possibly reflect so much light back onto the beach. Of course it can. How have I forgotten? Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of my start on the PCT and I can’t help but feel that I more disconnected from the earth- and myself- than ever. I am living on autopilot, just trying to get time to pass by until I can be off on another great exploration.
It’s exhausting. I’m exhausted. I know I will feel differently tomorrow, but today I am so tired of this road. There is this large piece of me that cannot wait to settle in somewhere, to find real love and a real home. It is the piece that cannot wait to not be so emotionally and financially drawn out ALL THE FREAKING TIME. There is also a small piece of me that sometimes just wants to let go, strip down and walk off assnaked into the tide to find peace. But unfortunately, the majority of me just desperately wants to contribute to something great, to create something meaningful and great. That’s the part of me that always whispers “life is so short, you must restlessly pursue this winding path!” That’s the part of me that takes me on long, late night beach walks, the part that cries when it witnesses a beautiful night sky.
You only get one shot at this “life” thing. I suppose I will “just keep walking”.
Driving out over the green ombre of the islands, I witness spring revealing itself in the marsh grasses. The salt in the air thickens as the days get warmer. I press my left thumb over my lips thinking about the piney, forest smell of your scalp. In the other lane, a jeep full of young women drifts by, their hair tousled and hands raised in the sun.
I guess I take advantage of working at the beach. I forget that most people don’t roll into their jobs with sand covering their black shoes and sunscreen streaked across their limbs. I forget that not everyone gets to see the sky turn pink and lavender over the sea as they work through their shift.
I think, maybe, I am here to get my skin thickened. Thickened in a different way than walking 750 miles through the desert (and 250 more through the snow and rock of the Sierra). Maybe I am here to learn to let things roll. Maybe I am here to learn to shake things off with a little more ease and a little more class. Different experiences require different adjustments. So sure, I don’t mind treacherous wind and rain anymore. But people can be a lot more difficult. I’m fighting to remember that everyone we encounter is human and we are all living life the best way we know how or the best way we perceive ourselves able to.
Except for aliens, of course. I’m not really sure what they’re up to, but I hope its something similar.