I can feel it in my bones, a tightening in my hips where I hold tension, tension at the thought of passing up the opportunity. If I don't act now, this "something" could literally become a leaf that floats away.
I don't want that longing, that goal, to hike The Pacific Crest Trail to become just a dream in my head. That is the "something" pressing me. That is the "something" I wake up at 4:00 am some nights mapping out.
I learned from a bipolar, often unemployed for months mother, that money isn't to be taken for granted. When she would get a windfall of money in every odd way possible it would be gone in a blink of an eye and yet she would have nothing to show for it. Once she went as far as enlisting herself in college classes as a fifty something year old to get a few thousand dollars in federal loans.
Yet in contrast, I learned from a father who depends on money for his self-esteem, self-value, and happiness, that money sure as hell doesn't lead to greener pastures. It led him to buy $400 Oliver People eye glasses, TUMI luggage, and replace Cartier watch after Cartier leather strapped watch. Then when his law practice dipped down into a lull, it taught me you can take out hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans to keep manifesting "the life to live".
Today is the day. Today is the day I stop telling that story because no matter how many versions, how many times repeated, or translations to a different language, it doesn't vanish the college student loans I'm paying off myself.
Change is inevitable.
I now understand and I'm grateful for my unorthodox upbringing. It gave me the qualities that distinguish me from you.
Ultimately, this life journey led me to having enough guts at 27-years-old to hike and camp more than 2,700 miles. I made it out alive from one of the Nation's deadliest EF-5 tornadoes, I think I can handle a rattle snake or a scorching walk thru the desert. For Christ sakes, I grew up in Oklahoma where 100 degree heat is the summer norm.
It's on this 2nd day in January 2015, that I take every word of my devotional to heart. "Honor the Beginning" the title lets you in on the secret about to be read.
"Beginnings can be delicate or explosive. They can start invisibly or arrive with a big bang," wrote Melody Beattie in A Journey to the Heart. This daily devotional book had been a life saver since October when I just wanted to sink underwater after a heart-wrenching rollercoaster relationship with a mid-30s free spirit handsome guy who is royally messed up. Here I am, healed from the highest, most invigorating and intoxicating relationship, while reading the passage about a new beginning.
I knew I would soon create new resolutions for the upcoming year but not because the crystal ball just dropped.
"Beginnings hold the promise of new lessons, to be learned, new territory to be explored, and old lessons to be recalled, practiced and appreciated." Beattie wrote. "Beginnings hold ambiguity, promise, fear and hope… Let yourself begin a new. Pack your bags. Choose carefully what you bring because packing is an important ritual."
I knew I wasn't an "expert hiker" and I'd maybe camped once or twice in my life, but I had far more "will" than that to keep me back. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that you can always learn. Just last year, I snapped into snow skies for the first time. A year later, I skied down black diamonds in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I never like when people tell me "no" or "that's going to be hard" or "you need more planning". I find it's just an excuse to continue down their mundane missed-adventure of a life. Too practical, too structured, and based off my upbringing, I am the farthest from that.
I continued reading the passage. "Don't worry who you will meet or where you will go. The way has been prepared. The people you are to meet will be expecting you. A new journey has begun. Let it be magical. Let it unfold."