I haven’t done a lifey-update-style blog post in a long time, so I thought I’d write a bit about what I’ve been up to the past few months. I hope you all are enjoying the spring and feeling good. All my love, G.
I came into 2016 with both middle fingers extended towards the sky.
I wasn’t saying eff you to anyone or anything in particular. In fact, I was more in love with people than ever before.
I was just done abandoning myself.
I was in Bishop, big surprise. I had been there for three months, climbing and being cold and letting a past relationship dissolve into the Eastern Sierra. You know, as one does.
My physical body was so tired it hardly felt like my own, but my heart was all mine, polished and sparkling like granite.
I woke up early one morning in late January, and I knew it was time.
“I’m going home today,” I told my friends.
There was no thinking about it, talking about it, weighing of pros and cons. I just knew, and I knew with such a confidence and clarity that there wasn’t even a choice to be made. Heavy, inked storm clouds swarmed the peaks as I drove up 395. I rolled down my window, screamed THANK YOU into the wind and blew a kiss to the place that held me all winter.
“You were so sure of yourself in the beginning,” he said, almost mocking me.
We were in a coffee shop, I was barely awake. It took me a second to realize that he was implying that being sure of myself was a bad thing. I looked at him, feeling all of these gears fitting into each other, keys sliding into locks, puzzle pieces snapping together in my brain. With one sentence he had described perfectly why things didn’t work out.
I came back to the Bay Area with a powerful combination of a hugely open heart and a whole bunch of IDGAF. I wrote a lot. I wrote an eBook, heaps of poetry, and a few pieces about the climbing community/industry that got a bunch of reads. My voice sounded different though, like I was telling stories around a campfire after having two beers on an empty stomach.
There were some people who loved my writing, and some people who hated it. There were people who said terrible things behind my back and people who said wonderful things behind my back. In the past, this was how I defined myself. When someone liked me, I would like me, when someone hated me, I would hate me. Allowing my self-worth to be jerked around like that became exhausting.
The winter had done something to me though, something valuable, and even with the mass amounts of messages and comments I was getting on my writing (and who I was as a person), I didn’t feel built up or knocked down by anything anyone was saying.
Nothing could move me. I had already decided things for myself. I knew who I was, and I trusted that knowing, so when people said that I was a whiney negative crazy man-hating whore bitch, it didn’t touch me.
Well, sometimes it did. But with a few exhales, whether their words were of praise or disgust, I could come back to the center, to that knowing.
People sensed that about me, and a few of them didn’t like it. When I would stick up for myself or simply not respond to personal attacks and lies, something interesting happened. It made people mad. They would try to knock me down, fail, and then try in a different way, from a different angle, with a different weapon. But it hardly ever worked, and if it did, it only worked for a moment before I remembered that I knew.
I have learned how a person who “knows” is treated as a threat. And they are. They threaten the very ground we stand upon, the way society works. They don’t buy into the attempts at control, shaming, manipulation, cellulite creams. They have already made up their mind for themselves, and that’s enough. That’s more than enough. They are unable to be fucked with.
This makes them very dangerous. They threaten everything.
All of this talk about “knowing” doesn’t mean that I’m never wrong or that I’m not flawed. I am often wrong. And of course I have flaws, but being a man-hating whore bitch just isn’t one of them.
It doesn’t mean that I don’t listen when someone is like, uh, Georgie, you’re doing this thing that’s hurtful and annoying and I wish you would stop. Or when someone says, hey your writing kinda sucked here, here’s how to make it better. We can’t ever stop listening to that kind of stuff. The trick is to know how to decipher what’s real and what’s bullshit.
Our bodies already know how to do this. They always have.
So after a few weeks of writing and yoga teaching in the Bay Area, I left again. I went to the desert, to Joshua Tree and then Indian Creek, and it was one of the most nurturing, deep, glittery climbing trips I’ve ever been on. I laughed a lot. My brain felt light, my heart felt carbonated.
I came back home again and published my eBook. A week after that, I submitted a proposal to a major publishing company for my second book. I am working on that book now and waiting for them to review my pitch. In my free time, I write poetry and what I think is probably going to be a memoir, but one can never be too sure about that. I also teach yoga and go climbing when I can.
I can feel myself ready to settle down somewhere, somewhere not in the back of my Subaru, somewhere close to rocks and friends.
I’m not sure where that is yet, but I trust that I’ll know soon.
“What keeps you going isn’t some fine destination but just the road you’re on, and the fact that you know how to drive. You keep your eyes open, you see this damned-to-hell world you got born into, and you ask yourself, ‘What life can I live that will let me breathe in & out and love somebody or something and not run off screaming into the woods?” -Barbara Kingsolver
This is crazy for me to write, but it’s true–I finally feel like I have become who I was supposed to become. It’s not because things are all perfectly set, it’s because I trust myself, my life, and that the things I’ve lost weren’t meant for me.
We have been told a lie. You become who you are not by gaining things, but by losing, losing everything, people and relationships and moments and car keys. The things we’ve lost, the things we swore we would die without, are what make up our skeletons. They are our framework. When we trust that, we can lose with wild abandon, we can let go easily and joyfully, because we know that this is how we go about becoming ourselves and becoming rich.
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