So much to say, so much on my mind, so much driving, climbing, laughing, loving, so many new people, places, experiences, so many miles, sunsets, beers, state borders, dead bugs on my windshield, change, change, change.
Today, May 24th 2012, marks one month that I have been living in my van and traveling around this beautiful country of ours. You would think that the catalyst for writing this morning would be something about how I’ve put 2,000 miles on my van, how last night was the first night I slept in a bed in weeks, the amazing climbing I’ve done, the yoga retreat to Moab I led, the day of climbing I had with Steph Davis, all of the sunsets, drinking beers with old friends, waterfalls, middle America diners, the loneliness you feel after a day by yourself on the road, getting lost, feeling wild, leaving a perfectly good job, being scared, being dumb, being strong, feeling strong, saying goodbye.
Nope. Not any of that. Well, on any other given day or time of my life, I’m sure that those things would feel big, and they do feel big, but right now I’m experiencing something even bigger.
I am in love with a boy named Alex.
And I have been for years now. I never doubted my love for him, even though I would try to play it off to everyone like it was no big deal, as it if was just like yeah we’re going our separate ways and it’s all good, like I was some kind of badass who could get over someone by climbing a few rocks and having a couple girlfriend rant sessions over a bottle of wine.
Like I was the kind of girl who could head out for a summer on the road and not think about him every.last.second.
Don’t get me wrong–I do love being alone right now. I love having the freedom to do what I please and make decisions based on me and only me, to not have to deal with a long distance relationship, to feel independent, to be selfish, to take some time to look at who I am, alone, because I know that’s important and what I need to be doing right now. Still, it doesn’t change the way I feel.
Loving someone, and accepting that I love someone…as opposed to pushing it away because it’s easier and more convenient to not have these feelings right now, because it’s hard to love a person who isn’t geographically close to you, is the most interesting thing I have ever experienced. And in the past month of living on the road, it’s gotten even more interesting.
I was somewhere in the middle of Missouri, on my way to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky when this memory of when I was probably seven years old was zapped into my mind. I am climbing a redwood tree in a park by our house in Moraga, and as I climb higher, the soft, hairy branches start to thin. The trunk starts to whittle down, so I climb a little more and find a strong branch to sit on. I sway back and forth with the wind, and look down through the spiderweb of branches zigzagging below me. I like that I climbed this tree. I like that I stopped where I did, where it was safe but still interesting. I felt brave and strong.
As I woke from the daydream, I realized that the little girl sitting on the top of a redwood tree is who I truly am. I have always been this way. And to honor who I am, to respect the curiosity that I was born with, is the greatest gift I can give myself. Because I love and accept who I am, I don’t know how to be happy without being who I am.
That little girl in the tree is proud of who I am today. She loves that I acted on the gut feeling I had to leave, to get on the road and go climb. And even though I have strayed a million times from who she is, sometimes to the detriment of myself and others, what matters is that today, I am her. And she forgives me for straying, even smiles with gratitude for straying because it makes being myself feel that much better. That’s not to say that I won’t stray again, that I won’t ever forget what this feels like, to be me, wholly and fiercely, without regret or apologizing. But today? I’m honestly Georgie.
All I can do is practice and choose, in every moment, to act and speak with truth.
Does this sound like a bunch of yogaspeak bullshit? It’s not. Promise.
I park my van on a lake near Boonsville, Missouri–finally a place to sleep, finally off the road. I am alone but I’m not scared. I make tea and try to read but can’t focus on the words. I’m too in love. Not just with him, but everyone. He makes me love everyone. Not just my family, my friends, myself, but everyone I see. These past months have taught me love, how to do it, how not to do it, how to be honest and careful with it, how to be a good friend, how to miss people, how it’s okay to cry when I feel pulled and stretched as watch someone I love drive away from me, their car looking like a Hot Wheels toy more and more until it disappears around a curve. The world is too big.
I used to try to bottle my love, save it up for a special few, because it was draining for me to give it away. But that isn’t me. That doesn’t feel good. The more I give love to myself the more I have to love other people, because that is my true nature. It sounds sappy and stupid, but my heart beats for love, for loving people, this world, my life. I grew up fifteen minutes away from Berkeley, California so blame it on that I guess.
I’m just plain happy. I’m happy to feel lonely today, in the middle of nowhere Kansas, all alone in a $35 hotel room that feels like a palace compared to the van, but also kind of missing the van and considering sleeping on the floor instead of this bed, I’m happy to be confused, happy to be feeling the pull of missing a million people at once because I love them too damn much, feeling a tug in all directions–down in the dirty south, Durango, the west, Moab, Italy, Winchester, central america, Abilene, Patagonia, anywhere in Montana, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Bishop, the Merced river, Statesboro, Flagstaff, Asheville, Trinity Aretes, my van, my dogs, my house, my sisters, Half Moon Bay, come closer to the earth or get higher on the side of a rock. Pulled. Stretched.
So, so much. Usually I would be overwhelmed, but I’m not. Because right now, this is what I want to do, so I have to do it. Denying it won’t work. Usually I would be afraid, but I’m not. Because I’m being myself and that makes me feel safe.
So much. SO much. So MUCH. SO MUCH. So much goodness, so much love, so much truth.