What is my life?
This is the question buzzing around my head.
Resurfacing when I lay in bed at night trying to wrap my mind around the events of the last few months.
The incredulous exclamation whispered with a laugh as I try to prepare for the upcoming ones.
A genuinely baffled and utterly delighted curiosity towards this whirlwind of a story unfolding.
A quick recap for those at home:
- Last September, I left everything familiar and certain to travel around the west coast. I always knew the very next step, but plans or visions of any bigger picture were fuzzy at best. Eight months of adventure, discovering new friends and the hidden treasures of the Pacific coastal towns, all while launching a freelance writing business from scratch. The immensity of all that happened within me during this solitude and unprecedented independence is still hard to wrap my mind around.
- In moments yet too fragile to put into words, I explored the outer regions of myself. It was a most beautiful emptiness, but the season of solitude seemed done around March. I wanted to keep traveling for a bit, but to adventure towards or with people who knew me well. So when an opportunity to stay with a dear friend in Australia presented itself, this nonsensical adventure made all of the sense in my soul. Which is why I booked a two-month flight to Brisbane, that leaves on Tuesday.
- So in the last few weeks of being alone in the remote parts of Northern California, I stumbled into a plot twist. An unexpected, nearly unbelievable but ironically perfect gift. I met someone. I met a California mountain man, to be more specific. With a depth of kindness that takes my breath away and an adventurous soul that feels like home. And, dear reader, this is very new. A story that is still just his and mine, and one that I’m not ready to share in this context. But a beautiful game-changer, with a weightiness impossible to ignore.
Endings and beginnings. Leaving and arriving, only to leave again. It’s as if I’m sitting at a train station. Just returned from this immense journey that changed me in ways I’ll still be discovering for years, and about to embark on another adventure of epic proportions. The whir of trains leaving, seasons ending, and the rush of anticipation, announcements, and countdowns to leaving has me feeling swept up and thunderstruck.
In the now rare moments of quiet, I poke around in the giddy jumbled pile of my thoughts and emotions. And I think “What is my life? How did this happen?!”
Fear disguised as wisdom would have me bridle my joy, hold back my happiness, guard against some future hurt. Worrying and playing out worst-case scenarios feel like the prudent things to do.
But I’ve lived enough life to know those tactics for what they are—feeble grasps at control rooted in mistrust. And regardless of the outcome, the times I’ve dared to be happy and chosen to enter into the moment have never ended in regret.
This time around, though, I’m feeling more able to dismiss the anxious thoughts. I’ve been trying on the thought “Everything is exactly as it should be.”
Months of healing solitude has produced a deeper sense of confidence in me. The nearly daily practice of stepping into the unknown has fortified my ability to trust. And the help of a dear friend and mentor, Julie has cultivated new and healthy thought patterns. I’m finding it possible to really believe in abundance and to recognize thoughts of scarcity as fear-based lies.
How do I know that my solo adventure on the west coast was the right thing for me to do?
Because that’s what I did.
How do I know that Australia will be Good for me?
Because I’m going.
How do I know all the moving pieces and sometimes overwhelming immensity of it all is supposed to be happening?
Because it is.
How do I trust that this story I’m in the midst of is the right one?
Because the One writing this story is trustworthy and Good.
Tempting though it is to try and figure how all of this is going to play out, I want so much to be in this present moment. To not miss a thing. What’s happening has left me incredulous, but the story I’m in the midst of is so riveting.
At this train station, crowded with familiar faces of people who know me or knew me, as I share bits of past or upcoming travels, they say with eyebrows raised “I am excited to see what happens next!”
It’s all I can do to giggle and reply, “I know! Me too.”