I went for a 4-mile run this morning, in the rain. It was a humid, calm drizzle that felt good on my steaming skin. When I took a walk break, I turned my face up to the sky and smiled, letting the drops hit my cheeks in that cliché way that people always do in the movies. I felt completely at peace, breathing in and looking at the bright green canopy of trees above me. Then I almost got hit by a biker who I failed to hear shouting, "On your left!" through the podcast playing loudly on my headphones.
I recently dated a boy who told me that he was in love with me, but he wasn't sure he could be with me because "his lifestyle would have to change". What he meant is that I was broke, and his love was potentially not enough to overcome his discomfort with that. It was one of many, many red flags I should have listened to along the path of our relationship, but of course I did not. I've thought about that a lot lately as I've finally started to get my feet beneath me. Would he find more value in me now that I have a 9-5 job, a regular salary, and benefits? It is a beautiful thing to be able to say that I no longer care either way. The freedom I feel has only continued to strengthen as I rediscover myself in this new phase of life. Loneliness and fear are along for the ride too, along with my good old pal anxiety, but they are simply companions on the journey. I have learned how to hold their hands, but not allow them to drag me along behind them.
I am restless. Still trying to find my purpose, to sort through dreams and turn them into reality. And I am impatient about it. All this alone time has given me raw clarity about myself, both the good and the bad. And there is no escape from it. There is only turning to face the truth and allowing what is to just be. I don't find myself regretting the past, because everything that has happened up to this point has formed the life I have now.
And I love this life. Like...my life is fucking amazeballs. And I am so deeply aware of how lucky I am that that is the case, of how many other ways this life could have gone, of people who could have died, of abuses that could have happened, of the millions of different circumstances that could have existed. But none of them did. What exists is my dad starting up the grill downstairs, smoke wafting in through the window, in a large house with everything I could ever want contained within it. A serene childhood, an idyllic hometown, and the knowledge that I could never end up destitute on the street, even if I tried. Travels, and happy places, and loving family and memories that make me ache with gratitude for how good I've had it. This past Fourth of July weekend was a reminder of that.
I ended today with a photo session with another friend from high school, and her adorable little family. It stayed muggy all day, but with a cool breeze, and I spent a lot of time squatting low, lying on my stomach, and wading through streams to get the perfect shot. I had straightened my hair, but it ended up curly and sticking to my sweaty forehead and neck. My pants were covered in grass and dirt. And time flew by, and there was lots of laughter, and I drove home through hazy summer farmland with the windows down, and thought about how much more fun it is to DO than to talk about doing, to get dirty and messy and fuck up and problem solve and just friggin' LIVE already. Why is that so hard? I'm still trying to figure it out.