Drinking tequila and packing. I can’t say my head was totally clear when I pulled my suitcase out of my closet and started tearing clothes off the hangers. It feels like I just unpacked— and my margarita infused mind seems to have smudged out the emotional boundaries between a flee and a progression. Packing a suitcase doesn’t solve any problems, but it sure does make me feel damn better! As I fold my clothes I tell myself one day I will stop, I will stand still, but I guess it is not today. (Har, har, have your laughs to everyone who saw through my plans to make roots in Savannah.)
Sometimes I hate this person I am. Sometimes, I feel like I have wasted my 20s fucking around with a long strand of bad life choices. I have been so congested with uncertainty and emotions recently, paralyzed by a world of right and less right choices that I have forgotten what makes my little, insignificant, but fabulous version of reality worth living in. I have learned that being transient and impermanent is what keeps me motivated. It keeps me curious. It keeps me alive.
Accepting who you are can be really tough. It can be hard to acknowledge your own value when your path feels a little left of normal. But realizing this person is a really powerful tool in making the right decisions to your own successful and happy road.
There will always be distractions and people you love along the way. I think that when you know who you are and what you want, you are willing to be patient and wait for the right person to keep pace with you— whether that means speeding things up or slowing things down… even if it means stepping aside to let people pass you on the sidewalk. I guess that is the beauty of relationships when they work out. (People tell you that all the time when you’re dating. Accepting it is a little more difficult.) Of course, there is the piece of me that says it isn’t that easy. And that maybe when it comes to the right person, it has nothing to do with the “right” timing. It doesn’t just “work out”. Maybe it’s really just about who you are willing to make which sacrifices for… and I wonder, do they still feel like sacrifices at that point? Does it make the decision any easier?
There was a quiet stretch of time, late in the weekend afternoon. We had reached a far part of the swamp, off the main water trail. I placed my paddle down across the bow, forgetting I wasn’t the only one in the boat. I stared out into the sky through a thin canopy of cypress trees. For a few long seconds, I was sprawled out, exhausted on a noisy piece of fresh tyvek, looking up at the pine trees, just woken from a nap on the foothills of the Sierra. I couldn’t tell you exactly where I transported to, just that I was sitting quietly with a hand on a snack in my bear can, waiting to hear the shuffle of another hiker to remind me I wasn’t alone.
Im used to being alone. So, it still surprises me when I find myself sharing special moments with someone else. As I am getting older, I am discovering that more and more of my best memories are involving the precious people I am lucky to have found and stayed connected with along this bumpy road.
I knew that quitting my job early would give me much more free time with my romantic interest, but I underestimated and undervalued the amount of time I would get to spend with my best friends. Slowly, all of those things I wanted to do with him, are turning into things I am doing with them. It takes a best friend to see your bucket list and say “Hey, I’m taking a day off, lets cram as many of these into Tuesday as we can.” It takes a best friend to sit at the window of Gallery Espresso for two hours and four cups of tea. I am not undermining the absolutely incredible time I have spent with the man I am seeing, I am just feeling foolish and awestruck to be reminded that, for me, deep friendships, the memories they create and the perspectives they offer, will always keep me grounded. When I stumble off the trail, get lost and grow unsure, they will always be there to guide me back to who I am and what my dreams are.
Jake takes a gulp of whisky and reminds me: “This is exactly what you left your secure nine to five cubicle in search of, Brittany. I’ve never known you to be reluctant to take an adventure. I think you’ve just had too much stagnant time to think on it.”
Yes. I want to see the world. I want to live in it.
My heart hurts and I am afraid.
Despite the pain and the fear, our human body is a vehicle. It is meant to live in and to experiment with, to experience, to step up, to try. It is fragile, but it is strong and it is resilient. It is meant to be broken and bent and scratched and scarred. It will be ok, it is always ok.