I made a decision early this morning.
At three am, laying in a tent with my sister-friend, I had a moment of personal growth. In my ten minute uninterrupted-monologue (thanks Kendra), I came to a realization that I am now entering a different stage of my life.
In the past 13 years, I have climbed more then 30 Rocky Mountains in Alberta and BC.
I have slept more nights in the backcountry then I can count or can even remember.
I have owned (and let off) hundreds of bear bangers.
I have hiked over thousands of kilometers in this beautiful country with a 60 pound pack on my hips.
I have been attacked by a grizzly bear the size of a kitchen and I’ve walked right into a cougar den high up in the alpine.
And it has been a time!
But here it is - I am done.
Here I am admitting that I am no longer fearless.
I’m ready to set boundaries.
Last night was it for me.
3 AM rolled around and it hit me like a ton - I could hardly take a deep breath. The reality of the seclusion that we had put ourselves in made me want to throw up.
To get a picture of our surroundings; we were a 1.5hr hike up a mountain to the car (oh. and it was a standard car!), a 3 hour drive down a logging road (and a really shitty logging road too) and no cell service until the nearest town (which was another few hours away).
So there I was, wide awake in our tent, thinking about everything that could possibly go wrong, paralyzed in fear.
For those that know, Vancouver Island is cougar country and they are in abundance!
And I heard them last night.
I felt like fucking prey out there.
Somehow, someway, through monologues, prayers and cuddles the evening went on and passed on by.
Allow me to take a minute to thank the authorities for our safety. Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou!
I guess I do pray, in my own way.
This morning, on no sleep and no coffee, we hiked out the 7 km up the mountain with our 60 Pound packs all while carrying a couple coolers. (shameless plugin- I’m getting the coolest!).
In a torrential DOWN POUR!
Jealous yet…? Hmmm…?
As I was loosing all my steam, digging deep, I couldn’t help but evaluate my strength.
I have been on one hellofa roller coaster ride in the last few years. It has tested my physical and my emotional being to it’s absolute limits.
And I’m still here.
I have nothing to prove to anyone or myself anymore or ever again!
I know my strength.
Why would I deliberately put my fragile soul through all of this?
Why would I do this willingly?
Because this used to be my life. I used to thrive at any chance to put that pack on and head into the wild. That was my happy place.
But now, this experience writes like I am describing some type of living hell.
I realized now, at 3AM, that I have been going backwards. I have been trying to stay who I was because of familiarity, because I’ve been trying to hold on to the past of healthy me, because I haven’t been accepting change, because of soo many different reasons. The list goes on.
But that’s not who I am anymore.
And I want the opportunity to be who I am now!
Because I am so proud of my change, I’ll say, I am pretty damn amazing these days.
DON’T LOOK BACK, YOU’RE NOT GOING THAT WAY
But accepting change? Admitting that you’re getting older? That you have become fragile?
Letting go of who you were? Not being able to do the things you once loved? It only stings if you fight it.
Just go with it.
Move where life wants you to move…
God damn, do I ever strive for a boring life! A Positive, simple, easy, wholesome, boring life!
(with two dogs and a cat please!)
I love my 3 bookcases and getting lost in them. Cooking has become a passion because it is now my medicine. I get nostalgic for scented candles, working on my garden and the beach. I love hugging my friends and telling them I love them. I love playing chess, scrabble or a simple game of cards with someone I can’t live with out. I love spooning my dog in her bed, sunbathing in the full sun. I love writing, it nurtures my soul everyday! I love my hour long yoga/meditation session in my living room surrounded by absolute peace and stillness.
This is me.
I am no longer fearless.
I want off that damn roller coaster.
This 3 am speech is the result of a three day camping excursion in cougar country. With a couple of my sisters, I went to see some of the worlds biggest Sitka spruce trees.
And It was unbelievably beautiful! Thanks for the last horrah carmanah!
Oh and please don’t misunderstand, we were never in immediate danger. I’m just trading in my corolla for a westfalia.
Do you ever close your eyes and think about your ‘happy’ place? The place that brings you calm, serenity and peace. The place that lights up your heart and soul from the inside out.