Okay, well, don’t get too excited.

I actually had a few topics I wanted to write about, but then something happened and it was just begging to be documented and who am I to turn down inspiration? (Even if I am hunkered down on the side of a precarious dirt road furiously typing on my phone and greatly increasing the risk of giving myself carpal tunnel syndrome).

Let me paint a picture for you: I just had a reasonably disastrous night in some ways. It’s 70° F in Homer, Alaska and I’m biking out to a Russian village that starts where the road ends, or at least in that general direction. I biked back and forth between my house and a friend’s a couple times in my sweatpants and essentially a bathrobe because I couldn’t quite figure out how to make the bike work, and I’m not too skilled a biker, mind you. I’m wearing a funky, too-big, bright orange/red helmet and a large and bouncing fanny pack. I saw a mama moose munching that didn’t see me, which is the very best kind of human-moose interaction. I’m not going to describe the view, because my clumsy semantic attempts at imagery can’t begin to do justice to the never-ending range of blue peaks varying height and shape with effortless perfection and cradling pristine expanses of glacial fairy dust. Oops. I just did.

Well, actually, I could just give you a real picture.


Kisses all around

I’ve been taking something of a break from exercise and any type of dietary consciousness for a while: “letting myself go” if you will, though I’ve been trying to see it as just another stage in the mysterious process.

So, in something of a revolutionary twist, I biked along the path of moseying. I stopped for water and snacks and texts and selfies and views, I downshifted frequently (meaning I made it easier for myself), I stopped to write this in my phone’s notes; in short, I wasn’t really doing it for ‘exercise,’ per say.

An absolutely amazing thing happened. I’m not sure exactly where; perhaps after the multiple confused trips to actually get the bike or after I realized hills don’t have to be so hard if you don’t stay in the highest gear or when I thought about my friends on a cross country bike trip or when I found out I actually kind of enjoy biking despite what I’ve been telling myself…

Regardless, somewhere amidst the ridiculous amount of enormous trucks which seem to be almost exclusively populating the road,

Exhibit A, although this one isn't that big, I know, but I was stopped already, okay?

Exhibit A, although this one isn’t that big, I know, but I was stopped already, okay?

my unbridled (okay, maybe a little bridled) joy burst out of me like a hyped-up-yet-still-kinda-slow sprinkler. Bridled because I know I’m still injured; I know this feeling is temporary; my tummy still talks to me when I put food in it ’cause it’s not so good at digestion, especially when I feed it much, much, much more than it was asking for; I’m aware part of me is still doing it for the calories; and I’m not foolish enough to think any one thing will change my world forever.

BUT. I FELT it. It’s real and that oppressing cloud of depression and self-hatred and doubt and bleak resignation and unjustified resentment and hopeless abandon was tangibly released from duty for a little while.

I have not a single delusion that soon I won’t find that annoyingly relentless companion by my side again. But a stupid chocolate granola bar never tasted so good and I never felt the soft parts of my belly with such acceptance and the mosquitoes and bees never bothered me so little and I worked so fucking hard to get here. Oftentimes against myself, but nevertheless no one can deny I was working my ass off to the point of exhaustion without respite.

I’m not “there,” but this is certainly, without a doubt, a far different universe than the one I’ve been loitering in — hell, than the one I was descending into last night. I can still touch that other universe and access it at a moment’s notice, and I know I’ll be there again soon.

I didn’t want to believe it. For some ludicrous and asinine reason I didn’t want to believe that satisfaction and genuine smiles were waiting for me, that every opportunity is a chance for escape and that I too have the ability to open the door.

Caveat: don’t just think I’m all better (whatever that means) and abandon me and that the rest of my posts will be love letters and celebrations to life. This is NOT the endpoint, in case you haven’t gotten the gist of my precautions yet.

‘Cause the mosquitoes and flies are starting to bug me a bit (sorry, couldn’t help it) and I have to bike back up this bouncing, headache-inducing dirt road.

I’m kidding, I’m not back to that universe yet.

I’ll be sixteen tomorrow, and to jump straight into cliché city, it can only go up from here, right?

(I mean, there’s a fairly nasty uphill and then the rest is pretty much all downhill back to my house, but let’s not get too caught up in the details.)

A Brief Interlude

The first day of this blog’s public life garnered a lot more traffic than I was expecting. I think that raised my expectations a bit unrealistically, because obviously as time goes on and people keep on being busy with their lives and maybe decide that reading the rambles of an all-over-the-place (soon-to-be-16-year-old) girl isn’t quite how they want to spend a whole lot of time. I totally get that, and while it’s awesome to have a large audience and be able to communicate with a wide range of people, I also recognize that this website is not for everybody.

Actually, this whole platform is (perhaps a little too obviously) mostly for me. Releasing musings and questions and meditations out into the endless cybersphere is paradoxically freeing and therapeutic and unnerving, even if readers are people I know in real life anyway. But the topics/writing style/opinions/purpose are certainly not potent or even accessible for everyone, and I completely respect that many of us are at very different points in our own journeys.

So I’m very okay with a declining and irregular viewership (I get statistics. I can’t see who visits, though, don’t worry). Validation is always an unconscious search, but I’m working to turn back from that particular journey.

That being said, I’ve received a few responses that have moved me so deeply, inspired so much pride and compassion, opened my mind, and stimulated so much gratitude that really the only action I can muster is sitting in front of my computer with a stupid smile engulfing my entire body for at least 3 minutes. The knowledge that my self-indulgent explorations have actually resonated with other human beings and touched a place that requires an email or message to me with a brief glimpse into their complexities is not only humbling, but reassuring, exciting, and one of the most fulfilling experiences I have ever undergone.

At the risk of redundancy, I have no idea where I’m headed. I don’t know my goals, my capabilities, the true nature of my many weaknesses, my plans for the future, the destiny of this website… I don’t even know when I’m taking the SAT tomorrow (maybe because I kinda forgot to study). The point is, I have no fixed, definite purpose for this website or this journey, and I’m not even sure what I’m trying to learn.

Right now, though, I’ve already gained more than I thought possible or ever contemplated could emerge from a couple interactions. I can only hope that my work and contributions to this world can offer a fraction of the love, hope, gratitude, and warm fuzzies that enveloped my being when I opened those simple messages. I can feel a network of support, compassion, connection, mutual admiration, exposure, and lots of other bravery building with each exchange and even every internal response I’ll never be privy to. You’ve stirred my own healing more than you’ll ever know.

Thank you so much for breaking my isolation, for accepting my extended hand and releasing your own experiences, confusion, and encouragement. It’s already so, so, SO much more than worth it because of you.

Here's to all of us

Here’s to all of us.