Left em behind, and followed rock & roll.
This morning I saw a man dressed in a button down & tie for the first time since moving to Northern California. I think I love it here.
After that unusual spotting, I had breakfast in the café attached to my favorite locally owned health food store (there’s more than one within two miles of my house). Breakfast consisted primarily of fresh organic veggies and fair-trade coffee, and cost less than a taylor ham egg & cheese with crappy coffee would.
While I ate, I was entertained by an incredibly intelligent and eccentric older gentleman at a nearby table who claimed to have been John Adams in a past life. He kept my attention with several stories of how he saved people’s lives, including Ron Paul.
He told me that I was a Native American from upstate New York in a past life, and I take that as a compliment. I always thought I’d make a killer squaw. He told me women had much more power in that time and place. I don’t know why he told me this, but it really resonated with me.
I feel this inherited power guiding me sometimes. Life has thrown me a few curveballs recently. Last week, I learned that the farm job I had lined up for this summer fell through, so I once again find myself thrown into the whirlwind of transition. The gig I had counted on for housing, food and money vanished in a puff of smoke.
Over the past few years, I’ve tried so many different career paths, different places to call home, different shoulders to lean on and trails to run.
I can’t help it. I’m a mover and a shaker. And a music maker. World-loser and world-forsaker. (I’ll stop writing other people’s poetry, now.)
But I’m getting very, very tired. I feel like I’ve been running down a steep hill for a long time. Very consciously placing every step, because I never know when a rock will slip from below my feet. Focusing my full attention on maintaining my balance. Knowing that at some point soon, I’ll have relief. But that time is not now.
Sometimes, when I get really tired and worn out and start to think about giving up, I hear this voice in my mind. It’s a frighteningly powerful female voice. She knows me better than I know myself.
She encourages me to kick harder when my head’s about to go under. Sometimes I just feel her love and encouragement. Other times I hear things like, “get up. let go. move on. focus. jump now.” Just like Arya Stark repeating her mantras.
I remember the very first time I heard this voice. I was about eighteen years old, sitting at my parents’ kitchen table. My life was a chaotic disaster and I was just lying on my back letting it pass by. That morning, my mom explained to me that I had one last shot to get my shit together within two weeks or else they were going to send me to a halfway house type of deal.
“You can’t get lower than this,” the voice in my mind said, “so get up and start trying. You have nothing to lose.” If I could think of any one moment that changed my life, that would be it. My inner voice’s introductory statement on that dark and lonely day. Whenever I need confidence, I think of this day and how far I’ve come.
Right now, I find myself in a somewhat similar situation: essentially jobless, homeless, running low on cash and starting to sense a looming deadline for when I need to get my ish all sorted out. The main difference is that this time, I’m so much stronger.
I have a decade of experience behind me now that’s only made me tougher, wiser, and self-assured. I was jerked around, and that makes me angry, but every loved one that I’ve shared the news with has pulled through with more love and support than I’ve ever felt. And this time is different because I feel like I have nothing to lose without feeling like I have nothing.
I’m surrounded by beauty, delicious spring water, perfect trail running and a community full of friendly, positive and creative individuals. I literally live in a whimsical world of elves and fairies. I think I’ve found my people in this magical area of northern California and southern Oregon that comprises the mythical State of Jefferson.
Shasta is the first place I’ve called “home” on the West coast. After living like a gypsy for the past few years, I finally discovered a place I don’t want to leave. My job termination was a blessing in disguise.
Right now, I have no idea what I’m going to do, but for some reason, I’m overwhelmed with joy. I haven’t felt this determined to dig deep and work hard since that day in my parents’ kitchen. This time, my social support network is a million times stronger than it was back then.
I’m living in an energy vortex, the moon is waxing, the clock is ticking, and I’m pumped. It’s go time.
I’m really excited to see what I can do this time.
I know this was a lot more personal than most of my posts. I just want everyone to know that I’m hangin tough.
Title quote by The Bouncing Souls
Freelance writer. Trail runner. Relentless savage.