Sardinia gave me superpowers.
I’m fully equipped with Bullshit Detectors, Comfort Zone Alarms, Truth Goggles, and Love Potions.
Sardinia gave me allergies.
It made me allergic to anything but the truth. My body rejects bullshit like a foreign invader, my belly churns and my throat swells at first contact.
What I think I know is this: It’s 5am. I’ve been waking up in the very early hours since I arrived home because of jet lag (which, by the way, is a real thing…I used to think it was just something people would claim to have so they could spend the first days of their vacation laying on a beach and taking naps without feeling guilty…but now that I’m older, yeah, it’s definitely real) and the quiet and stillness of this time of day only reminds me of one thing:
The goats. I rarely saw them but whenever we went climbing, I could hear them. They had bells tied around their necks that sounded like wind chimes but deeper, more robust. The sound weaved through the flighty fall air and coated the Sardinian canyons in a soft hue, it twisted through the oak and olive trees like a morning fog. But it wouldn’t hang or hover like the fog, it was always moving, always either growing loud or waning dim.
It was a sound that made things quiet, a sound I could see.
It is a sound that’s like the time of day before the sun comes up. The moon, full as ever, is hanging above the horizon like a ripe pear. It’s about to fall behind the hills and out of sight, till next time. There is a haze with asymmetrical edges that creates a translucent layer over her face, and it reminds me of how I’ve been feeling for the past few years.
It’s not like it was anyone’s fault but my own. But god, I am so done apologizing. No, I know, we’re never done apologizing, but I’m just done with the guilt of it all. I’ll apologize if I hurt you, but I am not sorry for taking care of myself anymore. Sacrifice, so much sacrifice. That’s just what women do, what we have been told to do, it’s written in our bones–how to be a mother. But how long it has taken me to understand that I am not everyone’s mother, I have no children.
The moments in the past years that I have taken care of myself with that wild, unbridled love that only the mother in all of us knows about, yes, those are the times I cherish the most.
I remember driving back to Colorado from the Red River Gorge, I barely had any money. I was trying to make it last all summer. I hadn’t eaten much in the past day or two besides a stale bagel with peanut butter. Kansas put me into a hypnosis that had me kind of scared, like maybe I would just feel that way forever. Adeline, 12 miles. I have to stop, I told myself. I have to pee and god does this girl need to eat. I pulled off the highway and my eyes had to adjust to the sight of buildings and turns in the road. It had been so long. DELI, the sign said. I parked my van right out front. I walked in to realize that the deli was an antique store as well as a deli, it was a maze of old things, so much energy in there. I remember the hat rack the most, heavy with velvet and tweed. I found my way to the counter and looked at the menu of just two or three sandwiches and a soup of the day. Chicken Salad, $10.99. How could I? Eleven whole dollars for a sandwich? Why, that would pay for two meals if I could just find a grocery store. I need this though, I thought to myself. Get the chicken salad, the old woman told me. Her eyes crinkled at their sides and she wore heavy makeup and perfume that filled the entire store. I just made it myself! She raised her eyebrows. It was the best damn chicken salad sandwich I’ve ever had.
The eastern sky is brighter now, mostly a soft red. Trees are still silhouettes, but soon it will be daylight. The west is dark. This time of year is west, fall is the sunset. I love how things in nature, like sunsets and leaves, turn the most brilliant colors in their last breaths. What a show. Green to yellow to red to brown. And then, gone. Until next time.
It reminds me of comfort zones and how nature doesn’t mess with anything like that, anything that isn’t true. I didn’t used to be this way. I still remember a time, when going off to college in Georgia or packing my van for a summer alone on the road was a perfectly unscary thing for me. I wish I could say that I was scared, because then maybe you would believe me more, but I wasn’t. Now, even getting a job at a coffee shop seems like an absolute nightmare, no way, no sir, not for me. I’m a climber. I’m this, not that. But I can feel that starting to fade, because Sardinia gave me superpowers.
Or maybe superpowers is the wrong way to describe it, but I definitely drank a truth serum. There’s something in the water, or more likely, the wine. This blog has been such a comfort zone for me. This post is an attempt to break through that, this post is about creating for the sake of creating and it’s about the love of creating, of writing. Yesterday I read a snippet of Lena Dunham’s new book, and most of it annoyed me but what I came away with was this very valuable question–are you creating for the sake of creating, or creating as a means to be seen?
It’s pink now. But it’s a deep pink, not like the pinks of springtime. The climbing life has been a comfort zone for me. My mom’s house, comfort zone. Relationships, sometimes they’ve been a comfort zone. Working at the climbing gym, definitely a comfort zone. It’s no doubt that I love the climbing life, I love living at my mom’s house (I really do, Mama), I love the relationships I’ve had, however messy, and I haven’t loved every moment of working at the gym, but most days it was pretty fun. But there is something about those aspects of my life that I cling to like I’d just die without them, and they hold me back in a million ways. Actually, they aren’t just aspects of my life, they are my life in it’s entirety.
I really don’t know what I want to do. I know what I need–to treat my body better. I always thought it was just soooooo Bay Area of me to care about diet and food the way I did, deep down. I always told myself to toughen up, I don’t need all that bougie pop culture hippie health food stuff. The dirtbag in me, which can live off tortillas and honey and suffer long days in the mountains, has been ruling, has been Queen. Time to soften, time to take great care. My hormones, my liver, my everything needs it.
I actually lied when I said I don’t know what to do. I want to do a million things. I want to travel, climb, read, write, dance–you know, all the things printed on a lululemon bag. I want to make films about women in adventure sports, I want to teach yoga again, I want to move out, I want to be able to pay for health insurance. More than anything, I want to write a book. One that’s true and unapologetic. Actually, even more than wanting to writing a book (which is a whole lot), I want to get back to myself.
The sun is up now, and it’s even bright in the West.