It has happened. I am on my way home. How did it happen? Inevitable truths about the directions in which the earth dances. This is the eighth week of my 16' Philosophical and Nature Wanderings Tour. I have learned so much. I have felt so much. I have longed for so many things. I have felt full and been wrung totally and completely out.
For so often in the past year, I have tried to figure out my life by math. I'll probably meet someone when I'm 29 (hey!) marriage in a few, Shipwreck will be established by then, house in early 30's, kids, maybe I'll try another career path for family reasons. It's inevitable to think about our futures. It's important to. To practice thinking about who we are to become. To check in with our hearts and our intentions. But we don't know anything. And that's the most important thing to remember.
Things can happen because you will them. But life happens whether or not you have plans. IN FACT, life often laughs rather rudely and just a little too loudly in the face of said blueprints. No matter how much you want to meet someone special, you will meet them when you will meet them (phrases like this are my bread and butter these days and used to make me pull my hair out when I was younger). Retrospectively you can assign intention and effort and explain how you are the master of your own destiny, but after another 20 years, none of those theories will be worth the breath they'll take.
What I'm working on now is something I've had before but have thoroughly lost these past difficult years. Learning to enjoy this moment, without conditions. Not a life almost lived. But a life that is your duty to undertake. A life that has been thrust upon you, full and fleeting both. We are never incomplete. We are never almost there. We are always exactly right here.
I will not get another father. And yet the one I had was as perfect as he could be. He is gone now, and it is up to my family and me to carry him with us. We will do this when we are very conscious of it, and when we feel we are incapable of carrying anything. This is not my fault and there is nothing I am supposed to do about it. But I can sit with it.
There is a pause allowed. The momentum of the world, of the entire universe will carry us all through to the only conclusion given. And yet, we mustn't dash through to the end. This is our one and only life, and without pauses it is like an unexamined dream. Just a foggy feeling and gone in an instant.
Random Assortment of Roadtrip Stats:
Couches/Air Mattresses slept on: 8
Trips to pharmacy: 10
Completed loads of laundry: 3
Hikes completed: 11
Books completed: 3
TJ’s trips: 5
PB Jars finished: 1
Bears sighted: 3
Times I felt lost: 5
Times I was actually lost: 0
National Parks (lands): 8 (15)
Conversations with myself: 150+
Conversations with Euchy (the car): 23
Hiking buddies: David and Betty! Hannah and Rebecca! (4)
Hammock naps: 1
Podcasts listened to: 27
Trips to the car to get something: 200+
Calls to Mom: 12
Existential yearnings: ∞
Discovering little sounds that the person living there can’t hear, buzzings, lamp timers, clicking in the walls.
In tent you rediscover your ability to locate sounds directionally. You know exactly where that branch breacking is in relation to your tent even when you have no idea what state you're in. Productive, life saving fear is brutally intelligent.
Deer are deeply confused by roads.
Everyone has a different set up for doing dishes. Some people are sponge people. Some use washcloths. Everyone owns one of those dishwashing liquid in the handle sponge things.
Park Rangers are generally the best people you will meet in America.
Every state (so far) is full of aggressive, distracted, careless drivers. Especially whatever state you're in right now.
Every city (so far) is growing at a rate that deeply concerns the people in them. Everyone is worried that they can't afford to stay in the place that they love.
People love brunch.
No one has been ugly to me anywhere on this trip. A handful of people have been so kind I'm almost a little confused about it.
You are only ever exactly who you are supposed to be. No matter where you are. A place cannot change you deep down in the meadow of your being.
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