“….And Other Such Adventures”

Summer in East Texas.

Summer in East Texas.

Summer in East Texas. The cacophony of locusts suspended in thick, hot air. Facebook reminds me that it’s been a year since I boarded the ferry leaving Juneau. Jeep, dogs and motorcycle in tow. A refugee from my life. My sister, thank God for her. The strength I did not have to make the journey. Three thousand, five hundred miles, she recalls, of mourning as she’s never heard before.

I was lost. East Texas was not for me. Too flat, too far from the ocean. Too small, too big. Too, too, too. But family was here. And when you find yourself “cast adrift in a universe without meaning”, when the life you’ve built for 13 years is instantly blown apart, you pull the covers up around your head and go where it is safe.

For weeks I’d awake each morning and in the haze of sleep, almost forget that my worst nightmare had come true, until the light made it’s way to my brain and the pain was fresh again. Every day I wished that what had happened had not happened. If ever wishing hard enough for something could have changed it I would have accomplished miracles. A book reminds me “it is what it is” and I realize that I cannot move forward while suspended in a wishful purgatory.

The trouble with feeling things so deeply is that you feel things so deeply. I curse myself, the curse of the creative. Fear tells me to inject my heart with lead. I forget what it is like to smile at strangers. To look people in the eye.

I wrestle with God. Have I not been a good enough person? Slowly, quietly, peace comes. “It rains on the just and unjust alike.” Karma does not work on a credit/debit system according to our timeline. There are no guarantees. Life, does not *owe us anything. You do what is right *because it is right. Without expectation. I realize fear will not protect me from sadness. That the saddest possible outcome of this would be to live in fear. I get angry, at him, at God, at me. Anger gives me strength and resolution. I won’t become less of me because of this. I won’t. I scream and curse the enemy and banish fear from my heart.

So I make plans. I start an application for a Spanish visa, dreaming of life overseas. Sometimes you must pick a direction – any direction. I meet an East Texas man. A kind, gentle man. I am surprised by this. I struggle with this. Fear is always knocking – but he holds the line with me.

The heat I found so suffocating a year ago feels less threatening. The sweat drips down my back and I embrace it. Happiness does not have a zip code. Gratitude for family, friends near and far, the past, the pain, the present, the future, love – this is happiness. I rejoice in where my path has taken me. I find joy watching cousins have summer fun, in making salad with my sister, sharing dinner with my Mom, remodeling a kitchen with a wonderful man. I rejoice that I find myself no less of myself.

The subtitle of my blog is “life, travel and other such adventures.” So I suppose this is the “other such adventures” part. Seize the journey.


Peanut Smile






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