Life's an interesting creature to attempt to capture. At one moment, you think you have it all figured out. Then, the very next moment, you've found that the cage wasn't locked and life has once again slipped away. This isn't my usual rant about life...this is an update on where it's run too. So many times in my travels I've pictured myself going in a certain direction and, like a leaf in a whirlwind, have seen myself hurled into new territory I never expected. Such was the case with where I am now. A little under 3 months ago, I was living overseas and expected to be there for quite some time. Circumstances brought me back to America and I saw my path laid out before me. Friends, family and acquaintances all eager to hear my stories, but it's not something that is easily shared and much less explained.
How do words fit where only experience can be spoken of? Is there truly a vocabulary in any language that can describe the changing of a life? Despite my best efforts, I can't fully help others live vicariously though my words because those can't be voiced.
Even where I am now, despite my best efforts to describe the peace of mind that I feel, is something that needs to shared and not spoken. I saw a life in Pittsburgh, formed relationships that supported it and gave me community, applied for jobs and was ready to make that transition. Surprisingly right on the cusp of change, like that leaf that get ripped from the tree it grew on, I was tossed across the states and landed in Idaho.
Yeah, I know. Idaho? Nothing here but potatoes. At least that's what I thought, but upon arriving I was not only greeted with shocking topography that I haven't seen anywhere else, but also a community of friends that immediately embraced who and I and celebrated me for it. From spiritual to outdoor pursuits I've found companions and adventures that quickly have become mirrors in which to gaze back at my travels.
Don't forget your support system.
Even though the journeys that we undertake in life are incredibly difficult at times, and often seems like a slip will result in dire consequences, do not forget that there's people there to keep you afloat. It's far too easy to charge though with only the end point in mind. I've pretty rapidly learned to check ego at the door and take a rest. It's not a race nor is it a competition to see who succeeds the fastest. Remember whose around you and what it's keeping you up when you do fall. Celebrate the triumph together.
Following the well worn path is, while safe and predictable, not how growth and new experience occurs. I've been knocked off the path so many times that I almost feel uncomfortable being in a line.
At first, I would get terrified. When you look out into an abyss of nothing and see nothing staring back, it's daunting to take that first step. But once I did, I found that having the freedom to go, do and be as I am is the most powerful emotion available to humans. Freedom of life is not to be underestimated.
Am I occasionally knocked down by want of stability and security? Of course. Do I occasionally get utterly lost and pretty cold once I've lost the paths that I do walk? Yep. But, damn, I get to see things that don't exist on well-worn roads and that makes it's all worth it. There's no manual and maps haven't been penned down. The only thing to do is pick a point, and walk steadily towards it.
Reach out to others when you falter, celebrate together and, when you finally succeed in your goal, look to the horizon and start the first step again.