Akin to Panic

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I don’t want to call it “Panic” per se.  Maybe more than basic fear but less than terror.

Basic fear? Is that a thing?

I woke up this morning and made my coffee (french presser for life), went to the gym and walked home in the cold.  As I washed the sweat from my face I suddenly felt the intense urge to cry my eyes out.  Of course, I did what anyone would do. I looked at my reflection in the bathroom mirror and said “Pull yourself together lady!”. Then I was upset that I called myself lady because it made me feel old like when the clerk at the store calls me Ma’am.

So, back to the panic.

I started doing more of the cleaning and little packing things one does when moving to a third world country. All the while I couldn’t actually breathe.

It began to snow slushies outside. I went to the store for supplies and also to be around humans so I was forced to act normal. No crying in public. It’s a rule for me.

Back at the apartment I was still counting the hours left before driving away from Missoula followed by counting the days left on American soil. Not many days left. Before I was scared shitless, I was overflowing with excitement about fulfilling my dreams. Now my dreams started looking like nightmares because what if? WHAT IF???

What if?  Surely you have felt the dreaded What If Disease before. It’s brutal.

I know that what I seek is on the other side of fear. I know it. I know that if I’m not afraid I’m not really living. It’s the part where I have to feel the fears turned up to eleven that kills.

I’m doing it. Friends, I am doing it. I’m feeling the fear and I’m not turning back.

Today I win.

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Anonymous Horse

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I’m striving for balance. The fine line between holding on and letting go is difficult to walk. Most days find me leaping from one side to the other never to land in the middle.

The word that defines my ultimate goal is “Equanimity”.

Equanimity (Latinæquanimitas having an even mind; aequus even animus mind/soul) is a state of psychological stability and composure which is undisturbed by experience of or exposure to emotions, pain, or other phenomena that may cause others to lose the balance of their mind.

My bizarre brain decided this word sounds like it should mean “anonymous horse”. Equine Anonymity.  I also decided that this might be the real meaning of the song “A Horse With No Name” by the band America. Maybe wandering the desert is a metaphor for stillness and balanced emotions.

I’m about to live in a mostly Buddhist country. Perhaps I’ll soak up some of the calm and mindfulness wafting off of the monks and emanating from the Temple walls. It certainly can’t hurt.

Or maybe I’ll be searching for that anonymous horse even in Laos.

………………………………………..

On the first part of the journey
I was looking at all the life
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
There was sand and hills and rings
The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz
And the sky with no clouds
The heat was hot and the ground was dry
But the air was full of sound

I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain

After two days in the desert sun
My skin began to turn red
After three days in the desert fun
I was looking at a river bed
And the story it told of a river that flowed
Made me sad to think it was dead

You see I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain

After nine days I let the horse run free
‘Cause the desert had turned to sea
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
there was sand and hills and rings
The ocean is a desert with it’s life underground
And a perfect disguise above
Under the cities lies a heart made of ground
But the humans will give no love

You see I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain

~A Horse With No Name

Such a Pansy

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It’s been two weeks since Rob left for Laos. I knew this time apart would be taxing, but today it feels endless. I’m a hermit by nature. Rob calls me his “lone wolf” and I have to say I find that a very fitting description.

I prefer solitude. My alone time is when I recharge and refill the emotional tanks. I like a quiet life of simple things.

Even a hermit gets lonely. Two weeks totally on my own has me feeling admittedly sad today. As I looked for some inspiration to forge ahead, I remembered the little Pansy that grew outside our front door last Fall. This little guy held his head up even when the leaves fell. Snow came and even when that first white blanket melted he rose up strong. I was blown away every day to see my little Pansy friend holding out against the bitter weather.

I used to think Pansies were fragile little things, like the butterflies of the flower world. Now I know that to be called a Pansy is a sign of courage and strength.

Today I am going to be such a Pansy.

(Photo is the actual little Pansy I admired so much)(I miss him)

Destination Laos

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“Isn’t that next to China?” my dad asked when I told him I was moving to Laos.  Clearly not thrilled with his middle child moving halfway across the world, he followed up with a few more questions meant to scare me out of going.

The thing is, I am scared. Of course I am.

“Aren’t you afraid of ending up in a bad situation like Oahu? What if you’re stuck in a place you hate?” was one of dad’s next questions. My answer came without a pause. “Yes, I’m very afraid of that, but I refuse to let my past control my future.”

After that phone call with my oh so loving and oh so worried dad, I realized I truly meant every word. I don’t ever want to give up on my dreams because of fear. I’ve wanted live and travel overseas for so long and now I get to! Should I have told my husband to stop looking at international jobs because we hated living in Oahu?

We live. We learn. We grow and we keep going.

I don’t ever want to settle for a life of ease and complacency as my dreams pass me by.

Laos is not going to be easy, but it is going to be a life changer.

 

Whiteout Blues

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I love you winter. I do. Well, I did. I enjoyed the cold as it fell over the mountains and blanketed the town with snow. November felt magical and December even more so. The soft crunch of snow under my boots, the tingle of red cheeks, the smell of a frozen quiet world….

Okay but today? Today I miss color. So here’s to looking forward to colors and warmth and flowers. Here’s to not totally biffing it on the sidewalk while trying to brush snow off of my car ever again.

(Spell check refuses to recognize the word “biffing”. It’s a word! Get a 90’s dictionary already.)

 

New Old Growth

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The last year has been so healing. It was in a moment of despair on Oahu (yes it can happen there too) that Rob came to where I was crying on the floor and said the magic words “what about Missoula?”. He suggested he could transfer to Montana as there was an opening. Any other day I would have firmly said “heck no!”. I pictured Montana as boring and remote and freezing during the winter. I had no fight left, so I said a magical word in reply…”okay”.

Magic indeed.

Montana was a salve. Now I begin to say goodbye to the place that allowed me to find my peace and go on to a new world of crazy adventure.

Oh but I’ll miss these trees.