I’m in a funk, and honestly I don’t plan on stepping out of it. It’s a good one, and it’s teaching me a lot about myself. And this past week I took off for a solo staycation at our place in Vermont, which served up one excellent reminder to myself…
I’m still the most fun person I know. (I hope you are too!)
I’ve always identified at least a decade younger than I am, but when a 16 year old challenged me on how much I truly like her favorite (and my favorite) hip-hop star, Post Malone, I met her gaze – and every lyric – without faltering. What came next was an invite to join her front row at Madison Square Garden last Monday. I hopped in the car for a one-way 5-hour journey down to New York City and back the next morning, smiling to myself the entire way. Of course I would say yes to this weird adventure. Less than 24 hours earlier, I was sitting in the grass at a flannel festival listening to bluegrass bands play from an outdoor stage below a couple of silos at a Vermont farm. The juxtaposition was so very me.
Two days later I was running up a mountain by myself. It was 3pm, and I’d covered off on a few errands and even hiked with the dog along the West River in Londonderry, Vermont. I could have put my feet up and cracked one of the craft ciders I’d just brought home. A perfect night alone in the mountains. But I quickly decided to fill a handheld water bottle, slap on a Big Truck hat (backwards of course), and take myself on a date to the Peru Peak Wilderness. I drove in on the longest, most beautiful foliage-filled dirt road up into the middle of nowhere… the Long Trail, also the Appalachian Trail at this point, queue the Garmin, and off into the woods.
I’ve run and hiked alone in some crazy places. I’ve dodged the fear of both humans and animals, sometimes in countries I probably shouldn’t have. Again, the smile was tangible. I love that I’m always capable of running 3-5 miles on a whim, but it’s even cooler to know I can run up and down a mountain, bears or no bears. I promptly gave all my water and food supplies to some AT thru-hikers before the impending storm.
On the daily, I’m rocking a hat from Iceland, earrings from Kenya, a scarf from Russia, cozied up under a blanket from India, sipping from a coffee mug from Banff, and staring at pottery from Nicaragua. My shoes remind me of the time I dodged getting mugged on a long run in London, and my bag is one I repurchased after definitely getting mugged in Portugal. The scar across my right index finger is there because I prioritized gnocchi over a trip to the hospital on the last night of a month-long sojourn to Italy. And most important are the incredible people I’ve met and journeyed with along the way.
I encourage you to write down all the weird and wild things that make you proud of who you are; the things you may not even tell another soul for fear of bragging or sounding crazy. We’re all adults here. Be honest, especially with yourself. Did you friggen slay the violin in elementary school and wish you pursued it further? Do you lie about your all-time favorite movie because the truth is a little embarrassing? Maybe you have a spiritual connection with making coffee every morning. Are you proud of how easy you cry, or how vast your knowledge of early hip-hop culture is?
Personally, I’m inhaling a deep and beautiful breath of the present moment – all the things that surround me and make me who I am. But I’m also going places… Eckhart Tolle wouldn’t argue – he’d say it’s all about HOW you get there. That’s where the present moment continues to play a role. My how is twisted and confusing sometimes. Other times it’s hilarious and inspiring. But I’m right here for it all, because I’m the best company I’ve got.
I hope you are too!