Work on the Soul. Reflection.

Hello, pretty bluebirds. 

I’m in Pocatello about to head out on a long trail run with Juno. I found myself lost in my own head in Missoula on Friday night, so I did a night drive down here so I could focus and get some work done and spend some time at the red gate. 

And I thought about a lot of things on that drive in the dark. The moon was [nearly] full and yellow. I thought about the fact that in a week, I will be done with school. In just over a week, I get to sign my life over to the government and hotshot for about 150 days, which will be emotionally hard in and of itself come mid-August. I thought about all the people I know and love…how many people in Missoula I won’t see for months or maybe never again. And most of all, I thought about an impulse that I’ve developed over the past few years and more especially in the past few months that I don’t think is a good one.  

And that’s running. 

No, not running for fitness. Running away from problems, running away from people, and running away from confronting issues I have with others and myself. And I decided that every problem in my life would have had a different outcome had I stayed and dealt with the issue…had I decided not to bail on things that were frustrating. By silencing others and leaving, we place ourselves in  solitude and our own thoughts. And I’ve learned that that is a dangerous place to be. 

Right now is one of the most emotional times in my life–a huge turning point that I have no idea what to do with or how to handle. This should be an exciting time for me; even though I graduated in only five semesters and college flew by, I somehow feel like I missed out on a lot of the things that college kids do (I don’t even know what that is). I felt the same way after my high school graduation. I think I went to bed at 9 p.m. the night of my high school graduation, and this year, I don’t get to go to my graduation. I guess I view other things as bigger, more important events in life. I’ve always been more excited to go hike up the mountain and photograph flowers with my dog or to walk/bike down to the College Market and get a shot in the dark than I have been to graduate or go to parties or even perform in ballets. 

I always look at others, couples in specific, and I think to myself: “It must be so easy to have someone right by your side all the time…someone to hang out with everywhere you go and to do everything with.” And I think those people are blessed–or appear to be. But for some reason, I think some people end up alone. Maybe it’s destiny. Maybe it’s our own fault. Maybe it’s because if you run away, people don’t feel like chasing you because it is an insecure place to be. When someone who holds a special place in your heart wishes for you to have peace within that same heart and you react with anger, you know something is wrong. When you run away from someone because it hurts you to be away from them emotionally, you know something is wrong. That’s not how I used to be. School turned me into a mess. Stress turned me into someone I am not. And for anyone who experienced the effects of that, I am sorry. I’m trying to fix it…to get back to how I was last autumn and winter. It’s a process. This semester ran me into the ground physically and emotionally. I am tired. 

And so another year of intermittent traveling and being rootless begins…this coming Friday. Last year I was excited to embark on a huge journey alone, and this year, it seems like it would be better to rent a warehouse space and paint every day in it, go to yoga twice a day, run for half the day, ride motorcycles, write poetry with my English degree that I now have no idea what to do with, have someone to go skiing with every weekend, and just live in one place and enjoy it for a year or more. To enjoy a place, someone special within it, and to be rooted and happy and authentic with a cup of tea and each other’s love at the end of the day. To quit running. 

A couple months ago, it was a really cold night and we were drinking tea by a fire and someone asked me what I truly wanted my life to be like. I said that I wanted to have a family. That was true, but what I really should have said:

“[…]rent a warehouse space and paint every day in it, go to yoga twice a day, run for half the day, ride motorcycles, write poetry with my English degree that I now have no idea what to do with, have someone to go skiing with every weekend, and just live in one place and enjoy it for a year or more. To enjoy a place, someone special within it, and to be rooted and happy and authentic with a cup of tea and each other’s love at the end of the day.” 

Articulating the things you want–from the depths of your heart–is something I have never known how to do. Until now. I have something to work toward, and it involves doing less work for awhile. Or doing the right kind of work. Work for the soul. 

There’s a difference between running and wandering. It’s an art to be able to know that difference. I think after hotshotting season is over, I am going to be doing some hardcore chilling and resting; five more months of this kind of work and stress will send me straight to oblivion. 

A year and a half of running makes one extremely tired. I can attest to that. 

I love you. 

Do work for your own soul, and you can have the souls and love of others with you. I’m trying. 

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