Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Escape from the Cube

Slight deviation from my regular posting...

Check out my photobucket story about my escape from the cube to the mountains!

From Windowless Cube to Wide Open Spaces

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sad for No Good Reason

My friends' friend died this morning from a heart attack. I was not close to this man, but so many of my friends were... and here I sit in the Colorado mountains wishing I could be with them while they grieve.

This month also marked the 4th year since a good friend from high school died. She got her license first and helped teach me how to drive when I was 16. She called me randomly throughout the years to tell me about everything that was happening in her life. The last time we talked she said, "I have so much to tell you."

The next time I received a call from her phone, it was the guy she was seeing telling me he found her face down in his couch. She had overdosed leaving behind her baby girl.

Sometimes, my sadness doesn't know how to reconcile with the loss. I don't know how to deal- how to be consistently ok. Sometimes I just want to fall apart and cry uncontrollably. I miss them all so much that I want to scream my own existence into the universe.

When my friends grieve, I remember what it feels like to feel as though the life has been kicked out of you... to feel as though you can't breathe even though you're sure you can. But maybe you can't...

Here I sit in the Colorado mountains, and I remember why I've been making the decisions I have for the last several months.

Life is unpredictable. And sometimes, it's unpredictably short.

I am living this way because my moments are numbered, and I don't know the count.

Here's to you- all of you who I miss so much.

Monday, November 12, 2012

2ish days and nights in the wilderness

Friday afternoon I set out with our 5 graduates and the wilderness fellow, in what was at one point 16 degree weather, to complete the last camping trip during their time at Eagle Rock. The freezing temperatures made me want to cry. I realized on this trip that I am not a camper. At least, not a winter camper. Surrounded by super outdoorsy people, for awhile I felt guilty about my lack of exuberance for all things camping, but then remembered it's ok to not love everything. Not only do I not love camping in the freezing cold, I flat out hate it. There. I said it.

This weekend was a challenge, not only because of  how the cold affects me physically, but because of what that kind of cold triggers in me psychologically and emotionally. There are ghosts that still haunt me in the cold darkness.

Now that that's out of the way, I must say, I do love spending time with my students. They made every bitter cold moment worth it through their corny jokes, intelligent insights and opinions, and especially when they grabbed my hand to help me when I was having trouble finding my footing. They kept me going- literally and figuratively. 

Making the trek up Bone Pipe.

Mimi helped me up the rocks.

I love these girls (Sandra, Yesenia, Mimi).

Yesenia bundling up.

Eliza, the wilderness fellow, making breakfast
and Jharid who waited for me when I was slow
hiking down. 

Looking off the top of Bone Pipe into the white out.

Taber relaxing on the rock.

In spite of being in a state of perpetual cold, I couldn't help but be amazed by the environment around me. Sublime beauty seems unreal. Mountain filled landscapes appear to be a painting. A night sky gorged with brilliant stars seems like a backdrop, that is, until you gaze so intensely into the infinite space that you can no longer doubt the depth of its profound existence- and in some small way, begin to recognize your own. Under the cloak of bright moonlight, I began to understand the insignificant significance of my place in this world. Ghosts and all.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You

I would have never believed it a few years ago. Even as I write this, there is still some element of disbelief as I wonder, "Has all of my heartache finally amounted to something useful?"

For the first time in my life, even some of the most obscure lessons I learned without thinking about it (like learning little bits of Arabic during a tumultuous relationship years ago), have found a niche in this tiny community in which I now reside. My loss, my pain, and my fear are all receiving closure in finding a purpose. 

I spent many years bitter, frustrated, depressed, and angry because I had no idea why it seemed that I had been handed the royal flush of shitty cards. I watched as other people my age and years younger started families, successful businesses, and changed the world at dizzying speeds while I struggled just to get out of bed some days. I often felt useless and completely defeated. How could I or my life ever amount to anything when from the time I was born, it seemed that my existence was a mistake?

 But here in this time and place, it somehow all makes sense. 

That's not to say that I've arrived, or that I don't have days when I wonder what the bloody fucking purpose of it all is, but after nearly 3 decades, I can say with genuine sincerity that I'm grateful that I was broken so many times because without that, I wouldn't have learned to be strong. 

I can't even begin to speculate what the rest of this year holds in store, but I can say that in only 2 months, these people have already changed my life in ways I will likely not fully understand until hindsight opens my eyes years down the road.