2 years, and 1-day ago,
I crossed the California border with a jeep full of stuff, moose riding shotgun, knowing a handful of people.
I pulled into my sister’s driveway, and the kids came running out the door, and 2-years later, they still do. They come running without shoes on, and throw themselves on Moose, and their little arms around me. They check my pockets and bags for things I may have brought them, and announce the 8-things that we’ll all do together for the next few hours. That first night, I slept out on their couch, a total crash after driving across the country for the past 5-days. I woke up bright and early to 4 little hands, and the tops of 2 little heads peeking over at me from the couch. We ate cereal for breakfast, and I couldn’t stop smiling. I was with my family.
2-years and a day, ago, I was sleeping on an air-mattress that kept deflating, in a living room corner of my friend Danielle’s apartment, while I was searching for a place to live. I’d wake up the next morning, partially sleeping on the ground, moose snoring away, and smile as I stared up at the ceiling. I was living in California. I didn’t have much money. My few months in Kenya, covering my bills at home had taken my bank account way way down, and my new job was covering my basic needs with not much left. I began to worry. The familiar sense of would I be okay, in the back of all that was new.
2-years and a day ago, I was pretty damn lonely, and I wanted to quit, and drive back across the country. I had yet to process the months of living in Kenya, and longed to feel that kind of joy again. I wondered why I came…I wondered why I didn’t just let myself stay in what I already knew. I was sick of being new, and not knowing my way. I didn’t know the back roads yet. And I craved them, deeply.
A few jobs, a big love, a few losses, so many trips to the coast, friends that have become family, orange trees, 70 degree Decembers, hikes through the redwoods, hundreds of yoga classes, 1000 miles with Moose, road trips upon road trips…and this new house, with it’s old floors, and big kitchen. I found my way.
I didn’t quit.
I kept writing, I launched my website, I took more road-trips, I ran naked into the ocean, I danced with my friends, I cried with my friends, I held up my glass again and again and again.
I didn’t quit.
I have ate the best burritos, drank champagne from the bottle with girlfriends at the ocean, with the sun going down, with all my breath being taken away, with the only thing to do is to drop to my knees, to bow my head and say thank you. I have taught hundreds of classes in a town where I was once new. I shared my secrets. I held hands. I have laughed. So very very much.
I didn’t quit.
I have compared, and pushed against. I have been angry and bitter. I have regretted, deeply, and wished for 100 chances to take it back. I have stood in my choices. I have hid from my choices. I have been weak, and I have been brave. I have pushed away people I love, and have forgotten to ask for help. I have asked for help, and not received it. I have been asked to join, I have been asked to leave, I have been loved. So loved. Through it all.
I didn’t quit.
And now. I look ahead, and back. I do both. So that I can know where I am in this moment in time. This year? Tomorrow…and the days that follow…I know. To fill my days with….
trips to the ocean | falling in love | meaningful work | team & collaboration | art | long walks with Moose | bon fires | summer evenings | bare feet | yoga workshops | writing | photography | abundance & plenty | new | union | hikes | rain | best-friends | red wine | dark beer| The NY times | road trips | kitchen dance parties | early nights and even earlier mornings | always creating | white lights outside | delicious food | friends around the table | just because, champagne | running miles | passport stamps | teaching | fresh air | fresh basil | high thread count | organic | sweat| marriage | trail-blazing | deep friendships | Spanish lessons | coffee |surfing | salt-water everything | comfort | stability | adventure| passion| getting lost | traditions| NY| Bali | a job I love and am amazing at | belly laughs | taking care of others | giving most of what I earn, away | a partner in crime | family | taking my Mom to Korea | a buddy for Moose | sunrises and sunsets | honest conversations | healing tears | yoga | live music | porch nights | hard wood floors | brick walls | high ceilings | published | ownership| gratitude| picking up the tab | skinny dipping | camping | hoodies |
forgiveness| forgiving others | forgiving myself | gentle.
Tomorrow I’m going to the ocean.
Right now in this breath, I know rise and fall.
We breathe in and out 18,000 times a day. Proof. Everything we need to know. Is happening. Already and always is.
These past 2-years, this coast, this life, these friends, the miles, the heartbreak, the deep knowing, the not knowing. All of it.
Have gotten me here.
I didnt run. I didnt quit. And I was given everything I need.