My Word is Journey

This year I spent Christmas with my Aunt Amy, and during the holiday we all chose a word that would shape our New Year then rang a bell to call that word into our lives for 2015. My word this year is journey, and journey I will. Three months in and I just boarded an international flight to spend two months exploring Peru, I am off to a pretty damn good start… if I do say so myself. It may come across like traveling is nothing new to me, but I am diving into uncharted waters. This is not a study abroad, not a quick spring break, no job or team await my arrival; I am embarking on my very first “purely for the love of exploration” nomadic adventure, and I could not be more excited for this chapter of my life.
Earlier this year I moved away from Ithaca, NY, the town I have called home for 6 beautiful years now, and it was like stepping off the edge of a ledge with my eyes closed. It was messy, emotional, refreshing, empowering, terrifying, and magical all at once. I had to learn how to be still for once in my life, I had to spend 3 months in what felt like a stagnant purgatory haha! I have worked between 1 and 3 jobs every year of my life since I was 13, and now I was unemployed and technically homeless crashing with an assortment of family members and very generous friends. I had no solid plans, nothing to get behind and work hard to make happen… My life was in neutral which was beyond foreign for me. Then one day, probably after she couldn’t take one more second of my uneasy squirming due to my new-found freedom, my aunt shared with me one of the many secrets of the Universe… she told me that neutral is our most creative state of mind, and that I should sit back and enjoy the ride. Humph! I thought, “enjoy the ride” you say! I am QUEEN of “go with the flow”, I thought to myself, with a very annoyed look on my face I am sure. As the days went by (ok, ok it took me like 2 months to figure this out… but for goodness sakes it’s a secret to the Universe, totally harder than rocket science!) it finally clicked, I AM the queen of going with the flow, when the flow is flowing… but I had no idea how to go with a flow that isn’t flowing, the kinda flow that’s just trickling or, even worse, at a total stand still (not even sure I was aware you could flow with a flow that doesn’t flow…. heehee) Anyways, the thing I did know about those stand still times is that water is still coming in, and rather than going anywhere it pools and it rises and it rises. When you are sitting in a flow that you are used to just moving on along and it starts to gather, the immediate reaction (my reaction) is to freak out! You start splashing around frantically trying to get the water to go somewhere, you start to not even give a damn where the water goes, anywhere but here! It’s sorta like when you see someone so scared they can’t swim that they are splashing around screaming “HELP I’M DROWNING” in a kiddie pool 2 feet deep… instead of just standing up (you know exactly what I am talking about). What I learned is this, no matter what, YOU WILL NOT DROWN… just stop splashing around and let the water pool around you and be still. When you are calm and steady during this neutral time, magic really does happen! That pool becomes crystal clear and you can see right to the bottom, where all the answers lie right next to your wiggling toes. This time of clarity is not something you can find when your proverbial river is flowing, a neutral time in life is necessary to find the answers you seek and to really explore the depths of your creative mind… this is what my aunt was trying to tell me… with her beautiful Yoda-like one liner 😉
I can’t quite remember the moment it happened, the minute I stopped and said “hey, I think I’ll go to Peru… yea, that’s exactly what I think I’ll do”. Although I can’t recall it, I am certain there was some cute and candid conversation with myself that went just that way. At this very minute I sit in your typical extraordinarily uncomfortable airport seat, typing away at my tiny tablet like the many other diehard corporate folk so committed to the job they wouldn’t dare take a minute off… not even 50,000 feet up. Little do they know I’m so far from that world its funny… ok maybe they are totally well aware of that fact, I’m sure my lack of shoes and nose ring gave it away from the get. The hippie-gypsy chick with the tablet screams blogger. That is what I am, and this year I’m going to own it! In my moments of reflection, no I didn’t find the solution to world Peace… I didn’t even discover what I am going to do with my life, but I did figure out what I am going to do right now. I got in touch with myself and really got down to the “nitty gritty” of what makes me happy, rather than what makes me happy because doing it makes my parents happy or my friends happy or my grandparents happy. I was able to find that creative avenue I have been itching to explore, the one that might not have gotten the approval I felt like I needed. I could hear the call, loud and clear, to do something simply for myself and then share it with everyone else. I am going on this amazing journey through Peru to revel in and discover my photography, my writing, and to explore all the creative gifts I was given to share with this Earth.

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