Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Muscle Memory

It been a while since I've sat and filled this space with thoughts and updates. I don't really have a profound statement to make today, or a life question to offer into the world, I am simply just trying to bring myself back into the routine of writing. A friend told me the other night at dinner that getting back into writing is just like getting back into any practice, you simply have to just start. And soon with some time, and muscle memory kicking in, the words will begin flowing again. 

Since my enrollment in grad school, I have lost serious interest in reading and writing recreationally - mainly because reading and writing is so heavily required at school. But lately I have missed the excitement I use to feel when I would sit and write. And I have really missed the engagement I use to find with a good story. Now if I sit still long enough to open up a book, I'm out - dead asleep. (Which also happens when I try to read all the required texts for class too.. oy I'm an awful grad student!) 

Life has been going and going and going these past few years since I've moved to Colorado and the benefit of this blog for me is that I can go back and remember the little moments of my journeys that have been lost in the overall picture. 

I reread my blog posts last night from my time in Nepal and it was as if I was experiencing it for the first time again. TomTom (my roommate) and I were talking last night how Tolkien's writings are like that - you can go back and reread his books time and again and always find something new that you didn't remember from the last time you read his stories. Not that I am anywhere close to being the brilliant author as he was, but I have found that the benefit of writing gives me the chance to go back and find things about my own journey that I didn't notice, realize, or remember. 

2013 has been a full packed year - I started my own company, I enrolled in grad school, I was blessed to be a part of new productions that truly challenged me in unbelievable ways and moved me forward, my nephew was born, I took on some larger mountain objectives, I bought a new car, I moved my company into it's own office space, I am a part of two amazing documentaries that truly are making significant strides in community and leadership building, I have made some amazing new friends and climbing partners who not only encourage and grow me in the outdoors, but also as a person, Alyssa and I finally put our crafts in a public show, and I have the great opportunity to experience some of my dearest friends finding their soul mates and begin planning their wedding life together, Chris and I have made some really good meals, and I've been able to grow in the relationships and roles of my life. 

Its been a whirlwind. And the other day I was telling my Mom that 2014 is already filling up, I'm about booked until September! It is hard to fit in all my commitments and desires into my day-to-day and sometimes its even harder to then remember all the special details and moments of those days. So here I sit, in an effort to document and to share this life of mine.  I'm getting ready to travel for the holidays and be with my family. And I'm looking forward to the new year and all the adventures it will offer. I'm looking forward too to remembering to take the time to sit, write, and reflect - Happy Wednesday.


“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say

Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate
And though I oft have passed them by
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.” - J.R.R. Tolkien 


Friday, January 4, 2013

From Rock Star to Rock Climber

Have you ever paused and taken notice to how our dreams, hobbies, outlooks, relationships, interests continue to change as we grow older. Well of course.. its because we gain perspective, experience, and acceptance of what can be and what can never be. 

I was very excited the other night because I was able to purchase my first brand new set of ice climbing tools. I love this sport, like deeply madly insanely love this sport. Frozen water is truly magnificent. And I am humbled by the grace it gives for us climbers to hack sharp objects into it and ascend on up. It's actually a very odd activity now that I think about it but I never would have thought of myself as an ice climber two.. five.. or ten years ago. 

This morning I received an email that a lady wanted to purchase my guitar for her daughter. I put up an ad the other day to sell it and all of the accessories I've gotten for it over the years because truthfully it has sat in the corner of my room the past three years that I've lived in my apartment practically untouched. (I did pick it up once about seven months ago to play, but as I was tuning it the strings snapped and so I put it back on the stand and went for a run instead.) Ice climbing is an expensive sport, and so is buying groceries. So I thought its probably time to get rid of the things that are collecting dust in my life and make a little cash to pay the odds and ends. But I was humbly surprised at the instant reaction of resistance  to answer this woman's reply now that the time has actually come to sell my guitar. Its very special to me. Two of my dearest friends from High School gave me this guitar for my 21st birthday present since my dream at the time was to quite everything I was doing and play at coffee shops in the city.. my boyfriend then gave me beginner books and encouraged me to play and my roommate put up with me practicing the same five cords over and again for months because it was all I knew.. and all my free time and money was spent going to concerts and admiring/observing the way the musicians flowed with their instruments hoping I one day too would be able to play so well.  So I'm saying goodbye to more then just the physical guitar. I'm saying goodbye to the way the relationships once were and to the dreams I once had and the life I once wanted.

I was just home for the holidays.. Pennsylvania that is. I don't go back East often mainly because it's expensive and I'm busy, but the opportunity to spend Christmas and New Years with family and friends opened up and so I traveled back for a week. When I call home to my parents or talk to my friends I always get the same sound bites.. "oh nothing new here. Nothing ever changes in Butler (Pittsburgh).." but that's not true. Again I was pleasantly surprised and humbled by just how much things have changed in such a short time. And how I noticed more since I've been gone. My relatives (forgive me for saying this) are aging and so the conversations and energy have changed. Its not bad but I had to come to terms that no one lasts forever. I'm really really thankful for my family, and am madly insanely more in love with them then anything else I have in my life.  It was something that I realized or took notice to more when I was with them. How I wish I could take all of them back to my life in Colorado or how I wished I could bring my life in Colorado back to Pennsylvania. That can't be the case, but still I wish it could. Home for me is no longer in PA, but sometimes I wish it were. 

As I was driving to and from visits with friends I realized just how beautiful Pennsylvania really is. The trees and the open fields are incredible. I would go on morning runs up and down the hills, past frozen lakes and around old houses and have complete excitement for the views and fresh air. I never noticed just how peaceful and promising this place was. And for the first time when I was in Pittsburgh I saw just how amazing this city is. The structures and layout is incredible. When production crews use to come to town members I worked with would rave of how timeless and great Pittsburgh was. (I thought Pittsburgh was old and dead to be honest.) But now, after leaving and coming back, yeah it really is beautiful. And the buildings hold history and stories and passion. I could have walked in awe of that city for hours.

Four years really has changed a lot. Friends have moved away for work and love. Friends have stayed for work, found love, and are now having babies. Some friends are working on trying to find new love and new jobs and new directions.. And yet it doesn't feel like I've been gone that long. What I wasn't expecting was to feel the resistance to let go of what once was. I'm very excited for all of them and I'm excited for myself. But maybe for the first time I allowed myself to feel a bit of sadness that when I do visit again some of these friends won't be in town to catch up. And some will have to bring their children along so they can't go to karaoke bars anymore. And some will have wives and it won't be acceptable to hang out with their old gal pal Anne alone. These are not bad things, oh my gosh these are beautiful exciting new directions, but I have put PA and my memories there in a bubble and now I have to break that bubble and let all those I love so dearly be freed to grow and move and change in my mind. 

For the past few months I've had this "out-of-body" perspective where I've seen my friends and family in Colorado change, grow, move in new directions and it's really exciting. But with that comes the ultimate reality that I have to be willing to change too. In my own life I'm constantly moving, exploring, seeking, changing... but I think in a way I've always expected everyone else to just stay put so that I can pursue my own desires but I can also have them stay exactly where they are so I don't lose them. Its selfish and silly. I really do love to see my friends and family grow and chase their wild dreams. It brings me a lot of joy to see passion being lived out the way I try to live out my own passions. But it also gives me slight anxiety when I have to consider how their new dreams change the dynamics of my life. This is growing up. I think what 2012 really presented to me was preparation that things will begin to change more rapidly and dramatically so its time to face it. It will come with some growing pains on my end, some acceptance despite disagreement on the dynamics that need to change in certain relationships. And I have to wonder and consider how my own life and decisions and dreams have effected and will effect others. 

Change is good. New dreams are great. And so are new experiences, relationships, perspectives, and opportunities. When I was 21 years old and received that guitar as a gift I wanted to be a kick-ass news reporter, I wanted to bring justice in the Middle East, I wanted to live in a city and wear pretty dresses and drive an SUV and travel all the time.

Now, five short years later, I still want to travel all the time. And occasionally I want to put on a pretty dress. But I also want to climb big mountains, and I'd rather ride my bike then drive. And although I still want to use media as a means of social justice, I have a very different approach. And the relationships that surrounded me at the time of my guitar are still in life, but they are very different. I'm happy and blessed by it all.   I have to smile, tear up, and enjoy the dreams that once were and be excited for the dreams that are now. So this is goodbye to my guitar, hello to my ice tools. 

Through it all its really awesome to know that the best things in life, the love and support and memories and laughs shared with those I love and share life with will always.. always stay the same.  

Out with the old

In with the new