Monday, September 21, 2009

Strength through Surprises

I'm sitting at Kristin's I mac at her amazing rental in Corvallis MT debating whether or not I should drink a hot cup of chai. Yes- because it's a chilly early fall evening, no because a year ago I was in the best shape of my life and a few weeks ago some woman I was selling shoes to asked when I was expecting...
My throat hurts, and I just returned Geronimo to the the kennel after an amazing weekend in the woods- full of surprises.
I'd intended, for weeks, to spend this weekend in Glacier. After weeks of emotionally taxing house hunting around Missoula I thought it'd be great to get away from all my stresses for a few days. I had plans to kick it with a fellow I met my last week in Glacier National Park, a funny fabulous human that captains a boat and hangs Christmas lights around New York City - I've been excited -to say the least. So when he called Thursday to let me know for a variety of reasons our plans weren't quite what we thought, I said thanks, I understand, I'll figure something else out.
See the thing is- through all the rejection of not being picked as a housemate, or renter, or having your buddy do something else instead of hang out with you... all this sort of rejection is bringing a MORE than healthy dose of humility to my life. I used to get upset about these things, and I still do a bit, but mostly I say thank you, that stinks, but I'll get along.
So I came down to the Bitterroot Mountains, to kick it with Geronimo, find Kristin, and check OUT of Missou for a few days.
Kristin is one of my best friends and few role models. I know that's kinda weird- looking up to someone your age- but I just can't help it. She's a dreamer and a doer, who has achieved amazingly great things in our short years of life. She is inspiring, sympathizing, inquisitive, and currently- going through heart break.
We've come to each other through hard times in our 6 years of a friendship since starting photojournalism school. We talk about ethics, philosophy, the wild, life journeys, dogs, boys. Most of our chats the past 3 years through huge life changes have been via phone, (Seattle-Maine, Montana-Virginia, etc). The opportunity to be in her home astounds me - and though technically I have no where else to go- I'm grateful to God and fate for us being in Montana, together, to go through this.
Funny thing about bad surprises- they grow you. See few people wish ill will upon themselves. You don't walk around saying 'I hope something terrible happens to someone I love" or "I hope I get terminally ill" or "I hope I job hunt for a year and end up barely making minimum wage" or "I hope I wander around my new town for a month couch surfing and creating awkward moments with my friends". No. No one wishes those things - because those things SUCK. But you know- ready or not- they happen. And when they happen- you get to find out just how strong you really are.
Sometimes I think I personally proved that while hiking the Appalachian Trail, other times I think I proved it when facing the guy that initiated my homeless streak while at work. But after a weekend in the woods with myself, Geronimo, and Montana awe--some ness I think strength- true strength- is not at all about proving.
Lately I think true anything has nothing to do with proving. If a thing is. It just is. I am strong. Kristin is fiercely wonderful. Geronimo is my child and best friend. Mountains are beautiful.
There is no justification. No explanation. I know that there WAS proof... I just don't care anymore. I can gracefully and faithfully accept and acknowledge these things.
Sucky surprises... they knock you on your ass for awhile. But somewhere in the cloud of dust and despair you feel a new, unknown strength putting you back on your feet (and if you're real lucky you've got a loving smile and hand reached out to you).
So you stand back up. Shakey- but more solid than you could've known.
I am strong. Needs no proof- but surprises me every time.
And Kristin... she's wintering in Alaska.
But tomorrow morning there is cinnamon streusel muffins, hot chai, and a new day.

Friday, September 11, 2009

PO BOX how hip

I'm on Hillary's futon in my new goodwill pj pants while Geronimo works on his rawhide bone. The Missoula night air is chilly - ushering in a new season, and I'm delighted for a night in with Audrey Hepburn as My Fair Lady.
I'm trying not to think about my multiple housing situations that have fallen through, trying to hold faith that something... soon... will materialize.
Like so many dreamers and doers before and after me I've decided to make the best of my situation and work with what I have, instead of dwell on what I don't.
That being said, I'm now the proud renter of P.O. Box 7216 in the stately downtown Missoula building (zip 59807 if you care to write =)
With which I've finally opened a Montana bank account, the first since 2003.
I'll save us both the rollercoaster of emotions ensued from my home hunt- suffice to say I'm still searching- and will let you know when I've landed somewhere.
Oh- and I do like my new job, but I miss my work family at Outdoor Trails.