Friday, April 27, 2012

making new homes in different places

As I drove away with Laramie in the review mirror, tears filled my eyes. Doubt bombarded me and I had to pull over to catch my breath to convince myself that this is exactly what I needed to do. This is what I've wanted for a long time. This is happening. This is actually happening.

This place has taught me how to fall in love and how to deal with heartbreak. It's a transient place, as I've watched friends come and go. I learned how to raise chickens, how to tear out carpet and fix a house. It's taught me that climbing isn't the most important thing in my life, but it will always be a deeply rooted part of who I am. It's told me that being a visual artist is important and necessary to the world. People in this town have encouraged me to believe in something bigger than myself and have demonstrated selflessness. My time in Laramie has taught me how to laugh at myself, the type of person I want to be, and has brought people into my life who have shown me who I don't want to be. All of this has culminated into one incredible learning experience. For 4.5 years of my life I have settled in this place, called it home and I claim it as a hometown now. A lot of the friends I've made will turn into life-long friends and I can't wait to get back to their company.

I can't explain the feeling of life slowing down to the point of restlessness. It tore at me and despite loving the people, it was time for me to go.

8.5 hours of crying and praying and thinking about all the people and places I was leaving passed slowly. My ipod, on shuffle, chose the song "Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes right as I drove into Bozeman, and it felt hard to believe that this is where I'm basing myself for now.

I always say to make homes in many places. I think it's best for the soul to expand friend circles and see places different than where you feel comfortable. I love Laramie, and I think I will love Bozeman.

At what point do you realize that things start looking familiar? It has been difficult to not know where the best place for coffee is, or where to spend time, or really, who to spend time with. I moved here knowing less than a handful of people, none of which I know very well. Truthfully, the loneliness is a little overwhelming. And I have to keep reminding myself, "I wanted this."

I'm feeling really drawn in and shy. I'm not quite sure what foot to lead with, but I'm trying and trying and trying to put myself out there and find happiness in people and places. I love being alone, but I really miss feeling comfortable. The only thing to do is to keep going. It's the only option, and I think in time, things will feel better. I drift from survival mode, to powerful anxiousness to laughing at myself because I have no idea what the hell I'm doing or where I am most of the time. The laughter keeps me feeling alright.

It's only 4 days until I travel and move around again for 2.5 months.

Keeping up the positivity, allowing myself to miss people and things, and crying when necessary.

It'll be okay.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

last days at 7,000 ft.

Life has been flying lately. Days are zooming by, blurred on the sides of my vision and all I can do is keep looking forward and keep looking down at my feet to tell them that this is the right direction (I think).

I've had a couple of those incredibly magic moments where I tear up and say "oh my gosh, this cannot be my life. It's too good, it's too beautiful." 

And there are also times when I say "Oh my gosh, this is my life and it's so chaotic."

With a total of 13,690 miles on the road this summer, part of me is so delighted to move around, to be transient; to do all these things that I always crave when I'm away from them. 

But part of this is being alone, being solo and individual. Part of all of these really fun trips are also business-based and you are constantly encouraged to sell your name, your work, and make small talk. Please don't misunderstand this comment, I'm really grateful for all these opportunities that come my way, by all means, but also it is exhausting and sometimes people on the outside don't understand it completely. I have a lot of fun, but I also work...a lot. 

And so learning how to balance this-- traveling alone a lot but keeping people close is a challenge. How to form relationships when you are absent a lot of the time in some other place- it takes time to learn, and I'm far from being good at it. 

But I will keep trying. Please forgive me ahead of time if I don't respond to texts, phone calls or e-mails while I'm traveling. In the greed of wanting my own time, sometimes I become very, very solo and unresponsive. I really, really need to be alone for awhile before I commit my time to various professional settings, and driving by myself allows me to control my own time. Therefore, I get protective of where I extend my time and conversation. 

In the last days living at 7000 ft, I'm chopping wood in the morning while water for coffee is boiling. Starting a fire to sit in front of and answer e-mails. Drinking a lot of whiskey, drinking a lot of beer while in the company of the most lovely people. Time has been spent reading, reflecting, packing, praying, cooking and eating.

I'm really, really appreciative of all the supportive friends and family in my life. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

grey days

Yesterday was a sunny, bright day here. I woke up early, and ran errands around town with a skirt, tank top and sandals on. For Laramie in the wintertime (Oh yes, April is still considered winter here), it was such nice weather. We cleaned the house, washed the baseboards (!!), cleaned up, cleaned out, organized. It was a magnificent feeling to walk around the house and to know that things were taken care of. 

The nice days always make me feel a lot healthier. Getting sun in my face and bones and letting it sink in, until it places itself there for awhile. I baked some blueberry crumble dessert, which does my sweet tooth just fine.

The nice weather was only a glimpse of what the summer days will look like, though, because today I woke up to snow. Grey skies and a cold house. Heidi is sick with mono, and is quite exhausted from all the productivity and movement yesterday.

Grey days always make me reflect a little bit more. My mind always wanders back to those who I have lost along this way, the ones that I miss so much that my heart lets out a little yelp. I can't help it- when the snow falls and the sky turns a milky blue, sometimes it is really beautiful and I wish I could share it with those friends and family.

I think grief reminds me of a couple things. It has taught me to be vocal about who inspires me, who draws me in and makes me feel important and good. It has tugged at my heart strings and asked to love a little more, be a little more kind, to be a role model and someone honest. I don't fall into these things all the time, but days like this are almost necessary to re-center the balance. 

This afternoon I think I may just make a large cup of steaming tea and sit down with some pen and paper. It seems like a good day to create something meaningful.