There are a lot of things I know about myself and still a lot that I’m figuring out as I go.
I am a bit of a journey(wo)man. I love the journey.
The day I hiked to the summit of Mulhacén, the peak of that hike wasn’t reaching the top.
It was the wonder of gazing across open valleys as the sun rose, the hikers I met on the trail, the mountain goat who showed me that way across the river, the satisfaction of doing it on my own and the pushing through when it got tough.
The summit – that was just the candy. I only spent 10 minutes up there between the cramping and the freezing cold wind. I wanted to get back to the the 9hr and 50mins I would spent on the trail that day.
The journey isn’t always lovely, nope – sometimes it’s hard, uncomfortable and it can hurt.
But when the good stuff happens – the moments you notice, the love you feel, the strength you dig into that’s yours that you built, the truths that reveal themselves, the stuff you make, the people who make everything meaningful – that’s the sweet stuff.
The destination or the ending that will always turn up. While it’s nice to toast the arrival, it’s really just a new beginning. Life always moves.
‘To love means to embrace and at the same time to withstand many endings,
and many many beginnings—all in the same relationship.’
~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés,
I have a great love of life you see. I love all of it and because of this love I choose to stick with the journey and trust that it’s meant to be sweet and it’s not always lovely.
There is contentment to be found in the ‘not so lovely’. Of course, not all the ‘not so lovely’. I don’t want people to be hurt or get sick, I’m not a sociopath.
But the discontentment, the raw and the vulnerable I don’t mind that kind of ‘not so lovely’.
That is where the honesty lives. The honesty that takes you closer to your soul.
I think I’ve had a bit of rawness in the cracks since our trip ended, except that it hasn’t ended right?
We are still here, slow travelling – just on a new adventure.
Yet this feels a bit like a destination. An ending and a beginning.
I’m wondering about my voice. What is it that I want to contribute? I only want to make noise that is meaningful.
I’ve had a fair few journeys in my life so I can recognise this now.
We call it transition. Old Celtic wisdom call it liminality, the space between where one thing ends and another begins. The mysterious nature of in-between.
I’m not put off by feeling a little raw. I’m sitting right in it, squelching. Like a pig in mucky shit.
The easy way would be to throw myself into being busy (filling our schedules) and ignoring it or finding a way to numb it.
I don’t do easy – nope, bugger that. I want the sweet stuff and the freedom you see and I’ve already taken the journey to simplicity and slowness. I have that to work with.
So here I sit a little lost yet completely present.
For the good part of this year I was a different kind of traveller. Waking up each day not sure what the day would hold, gloriously spontaneous and fresh with newness and wide open space (there were hard days of course).
Before that I was on a journey to embrace the simple life.
The simple life journey was the one that got me here – embracing my inner minimalist, coming out as an introvert, weirdo and shit giver (plenty of hard stuff – actually shitloads of hard stuff in that journey too).
I found freedom in simplicity by embracing my differences and learning new things while meeting people along the way who would teach me so much.
I won’t bore you with a history of every journey prior to that. Let me just say there have been many and I me because of them.
All the scars, messes, triumphs, experiences of wonder, knowledge and lessons – they all come with me. They are my stories. My life story.
I think this is the beginning of a journey towards writing and creating something. Or maybe simply embracing curiosity and creativity as the important drivers of my life.
Perhaps doing the Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way- A Spiritual Journey to Higher Creativity is knocking me into a vulnerable state as I dig into that a little deeper.
It’s quite probable that’s the journey I’m actually on – hard to know. It’s definitely contributing, time will tell.
I will say though that writing the morning pages to myself is quite revealing. Like a wrecking ball banging away at those little niggles that I didn’t even know held so much power over my self confidence.
Those ‘off the cuff’ comments that knock you a little and some dumb stuff I’ve said and done along the way. The stuff you file away in the ouch folder and then speedily proceed to bury – nice and deep.
It’s an ugly folder but I’ve opened it, oh god – it’s probably shame isn’t it? Oh fuck (I just realised what shame is). There goes another layer.
Now that I have unleashed that I guess I’m definitely back at the beginning. Again.
I could choose to listen to the voices in that file and give up because it’s hard or I could shed the layer and keep walking forward.
What would I loose? I could give up this idea of finding a voice, my life is a good life and I have plenty to be grateful for and to be happy with. I could hide in it.
I could bolster my ego with crap like accumulating stuff or likes or numb it with a glass of wine or two but I’m not going to. I’m going to build it myself, honestly.
Would I regret not trying to grow this creative writing seed by honouring our trip with words? Yes, in 10 years, I think I would.
AND worse still, my soul would be battered because right now it’s a writerly soul.
Don’t worry about me. I’m not writing for your pity. I’m writing to own my story. Just for me. To grow. And if you connect with it then that is the sweet stuff.
I’m sturdy even when I’m a little lost, and I run – that keeps me strong. I sang out loud (Bernard Fanning of course) and almost danced at the traffic lights this afternoon so I’m all good.
In fact I have some plans for the running. BIG plans that involve partnering with some really cool shit givers. I’ll share soon. Again a result of simplicity journey.
I also have so many wonderful little moments of bliss because one thing I re-learnt these past years is that sitting in all the moments is important, good and bad.
Currently I’m reading my littlest James and the Giant Peach, reading Roald Dahl aloud has to be one of life’s greatest joys. Tried it?
This week I’ve ridden my bike in the sun’s rays and the rain’s drops. I’m alive in the elements and that’s the kind of wildness that sends my soul souring into the great depths of feeling like myself.
My heart bursts most days. Between the crazies in this house and the people I talk to. There’s a great depth in the kindness and people who hang around these places talking about simplicity and life.
With my muddy shoes on I’m ready for the beginning and to let this story unfold while I continue to figure it out along the way.
No expectations though…that’s a sure fire way to miss the right doors that are waiting. I don’t want to miss the sweetness that’s waiting to be tasted.
(Posting early this week so that I can absorb myself in writing about Ireland in 5-6 chapters. At 10,000 words in I’m making solid progress on expanding my holiday journal. It’s a rough draft but that is ok, it’s a big project and I’m learning a lot about myself – and no, that’s not selfish or indulgent, it’s brilliantly meaningful to me and those around me because it’s keeping me focused on what matters.)