4/20/07

choosing your destiny


I'm not one to talk or think about my past too much, I'm talking about my past as in childhood, teen, early adult years. My life feels like it began when I stopped working and left Arizona in 03. The choices I have made since then are the ones that feel like they impact my life the most now...not the choices I made when I was 21.

Sometimes I relive my journey as if watching a movie. I can see myself driving with my car stuffed with maps and camping gear...I can see myself being very afraid and very tired. I think I was too scared to be excited, those moments were mostly when I was hiking and feeling at peace in nature or stopping in quaint towns, chatting with librarians and feeling no hurry to do anything. Most of the time I was in panic attack mode. The panic came in waves, crashing into me in oceanic form. Like waves of vomit between dry heaves. Bathing my brain in terror, flooding my vision with blur, beating me down into a crippled shaking ball.

Primitive reptile brain is what kept me going. Find a place to camp, get food, stay clean, move. The universe sprinkled in sturdy humans to keep me company here and there, people that told me stories about themselves or who opened up their homes/campsites and hearts. Somehow I kept moving on. There was one particular episode that I will never forget, its funny to me now but it nearly cost me my sanity at the time. I was in Wyoming. Had driven out of Yellowstone and was heading on ALT 14 towards the Big Horn Mountains. It was already Sept. and camping was no longer pleasant with temperatures reaching in the 30's at night in an all season tent. I had to decide soon exactly where I was going to go.

My sister lives in Seattle. My intuition initially told me go to Minneapolis for the Winter and head east in the Spring. I'd been to Seattle plenty of times and I felt like it was in my best interest to keep having new experiences and go to new places. But I was getting tired and feeling vulnerable so sometimes old and more familiar felt safer. Enter the Big Horn Mountains. Looking big and mean and creepy. Campsites at this time were closed for winter but you could still camp, it just meant few people were around and campsites weren't monitored. It meant I felt more vulnerable. So I decided to just leisurely drive through the mountains and decide when I got there. They felt like the turning point, too creepy to camp in I knew I needed to get out of there...if I went through them I'd come out the other side and there would be no turning back. It was the midway point to Seattle or Minneapolis.

So around 2pm I came to a fork in the road. East or West. Seattle or Minneapolis. East or West. EAST OR WEST. decide NOW. I drove East a few minutes. Then I stopped and drove back to the fork and went west for a few minutes. Then I stopped and drove East for a few miles further...then turned and went west a few miles further. I'm not kidding you, I must have done this for an hour if not longer. I was STUCK. I didn't want to move. I didn't know what to do anymore. I felt like whatever decision I made would change the course of my life. And it was right there, that very road, that became a pivotal marker forever etched in my brain. I feel kind of dizzy and ill just thinking about it right now.

Well, I eventually kept going East. It took me a few hours to feel I had 'righted' myself. As if I were in a space craft and having a bumpy time of it....dodging meteor showers. I ended the night in a hellish town at a truck stop. Even after all that it was almost 2 more weeks before I got to MN. I stopped in South Dakota and almost didn't leave there. Everywhere I stopped for more than a few days felt 'safe' and it took all I had to pack up and move on.

Whats this have to do with art? Maybe because right now I am consumed with east and west except this time it is art vs job. And what kind of art....on and on. I have too many questions and am going back and forth and not making any headway. Sometimes you come to a point where you know this is it, what I do now will really change the course of my destiny. Not all moments in life have that feeling to them....but when those moments do come ~ all the thought and preparation in the world don't matter if you don't listen to your intuition.

2 comments:

Misplaced said...

I love this post. East or West? That's what's all about. It's interestingot read the journey you took to get where you are. One more puzzle piece in place.

Have a great weekend

sarala said...

That was a scary dilemma. I've never been quite that stuck that I remember but I can empathize with the fear. Very moving story.
And yet you are far more daring than nearly anyone I've ever met.