Last weekend, I did something I didn’t really think I could do. I carried my possessions on my back and hiked 5.5 miles through the wilderness, slept in the frigid cold… and then hiked back the next day. And I didn’t die. I didn’t even see a mountain lion. Here’s how it all went down.
And even before we were married, with white-knuckled fists, I held on to our relationship through waning romantic effort… unhealthy boundaries at home and work… addiction… neverending counseling appointments… promise after broken promise.. Lie after lie… Trying to control him… begging him to change…
All because I was too terrified to figure out who I was on my own. To face the reality of me.
I have a hard time knowing when to stop. Rushing through each day hoping I’ll have the stamina to complete it. It’s a race between my energy and the clock. And the sun goes down, my daughter drifts off, and I melt into a puddle on the floor.
But actually, it’s the couch. And there’s Netflix. And eating. So much eating…
And at some point – if I can muster the tiniest bit of self control – I peel myself up and plod reluctantly to bed.
This is where I found myself exactly one month ago. Only it was before lunch – I was staring at my computer – and I just felt heavy. My body was tired. My mind was exhausted. And, possibly what troubled me the most, my heart was empty. I had absolutely nothing left to give.
When I share with a friend that I enjoy a solo hike in the woods, I’m often met with incredulous looks and questions like “Aren’t you scared?” And when I was married, the questions were more like “And your husband is okay with that?”
The first dip of the paddle – as it reaches into the water. The smooth, silky water. I pull it firmly and feel the power as Sunset, my kayak, lurches forward. A rush of air floods my lungs – the blue sky stretching its circumference around me. I am here.