“We tell ourselves stories in order to live… we look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the “ideas” with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.” – Joan Didion, The White Album
When I get to the end of my life, hopefully very far from now, I will not look back and think about my job or how much money I made. I will not reminisce about my time spent at my desk doing someone else’s work. I will not take with me the things that I bought, I will not keep the likes I received on Instagram. I will not reflect on the judgment of strangers.
Is life exactly where you want it to be at this very moment?
Easier to answer for some than for others. I can tell you, with only two twitches of my eye, that mine is not. Recently, I’ve accepted this fact with open arms. Not resigned or surrendered – I think that’s an important distinction to make. I’ve embraced it. I swear this will make sense, just let me get there.
In a past life I think I was a pioneer or an astronaut. While there is admittedly something intimidating about the unknown, there also resides something inviting. A pull for those with a curious mind or a penchant for risk. Perhaps it is simply born of restlessness and boredom, perhaps it’s something more innate. So much of what we take granted every day can be attributed to discovery. It’s the answers scientists strive for, the uncharted destinations early settlers dream about, the moment you and a stranger find out you have something in common.
Can you ever tell how much someone loves something just by reading their words? Likewise, have you ever just looked at a person and felt the passion radiating off them like a nuclear bomb of joy?
I am so grateful to the outdoor community. Over the years I have learned just how familial this group of people is.
5th grade science camp. Laying on the top bunk of a bed, fiddling with one of those yellow disposable cameras in a musty and cramped cabin. It smells like sweat and Axe Body Spray (to this day I don’t know which is worse). We are summoned to what was the equivalent of a mess hall for a mountain dinner; soup, bread, potatoes. It’s skit night. I grew up a very shy kid but my best friend and I were in the same group and our skit was about breaking out of normal life and becoming rock stars. We took the stage and our song began to play. Maybe it was being away from the confines of the school, maybe it was the thin mountain air. But that was the first time in my life I remember letting loose.