Last week I woke up one morning feeling a sense of being stuck, but then I heard a small voice that whispered, “No, you’re not. You’re growing.”
Growth means staying in one place long enough to reach roots down and allow them to be nourished. I never trusted the ground in Austin. It’s felt toxic, full of thorns and shards of glass. I use to blame the ground. I thought that Colorado wasn’t good for me because of the weather when the real problem was that I simply couldn’t adjust to the changing seasons. It’s safe to say that I was unprepared. I always remember the night when I attempted to drive up an icy hill in my little white Toyota Echo, Buddy. He looked like a snowball on wheels chugging and sliding… until he slowly slid backward. I pumped the brakes and looked outside my window. Through the dark and the snow, I saw four people running towards me. I looked behind me and they had emerged from their Subaru to push me up the hill. Nice people. So prepared.
Sometimes I do wonder what life would have been like if I had stayed in Colorado a little longer. But then again, I remember how many obstacles that were thrown in my path while I lived there. It felt like being body slammed by Liu Kang, Scorpion or one of the other fierce characters from Mortal Kombat. It felt like that for months. And every time I got up to fight back, some giant beast would smash me down harder. Denver was my kryptonite. I use to sing, “Best Thing I Never Had,” by Beyonce at the top of my lungs as I drove through the elements for weeks before I drove away for good. Denver was like an abusive relationship. “You don’t deserve my tears, I guess that’s why they ain’t there.” Aw hell, I shed some hard tears over that city!
So I’m in Austin again. Yay. Not a very enthusiastic “yay” I must say. Just yesterday I felt the urge to run. I felt it deep within my bones. Living in Nicaragua exposed me to another world, another way of thinking and living. I long for integration of that life… to have a community space where I can be seen, contribute and learn from others. To speak Spanish and learn about another culture every day. I also long for coconut trees and the sweet sound of mangos crashing onto my roof at night. I can’t make Austin any more tropical than the summer heat. And there will never be another Granada, Nicaragua.
Last Sunday I swam in Deep Eddy and practiced yoga in the sun. I ran around Town Lake and watched the sunset through the trees and as I rounded the corner of the trail and crossed the bridge, I paused to watch the sky over the water.
I’ve taken this picture before. I’ve watched the sunset from the bridge before. So familiar, and yet the sky has never looked the same. I laughed to myself when I noticed the silhouette of a palm tree in the distance. Silly people with their fancy houses, salt water pools and too many cars. Sometimes I wish I wanted that life. That seems to be the American Dream. But it’s not my dream. I recently started setting some goals with my finances and it made me excited to think about home ownership or starting a real business that could actually MAKE money. Those are some possibilities. And they are also unknowns. There is some fear in that. And of course those big questions like, “How the hell will I ever make that happen?” and “What if I can’t sustain it?” or “What if I achieve my goals and then something grabs it all from underneath me?”
“Whenever I’m faced with a difficult decision, I ask myself: What would I do if I weren’t afraid of making a mistake, feeling rejected, looking foolish, or being alone? I know for sure that when you remove the fear, the answer you’ve been searching for comes into focus. And as you walk into what you fear, you should know for sure that your deepest struggle can, if you’re willing and open, produce your greatest strength.”
–Oprah, What I Know for Sure
Yes, I’ve been reading a little Oprah here and there. She’s got a pretty amazing story. She’s overcome so much adversity in her life, and that inspires me. Don’t make fun. When I first read this, I thought, “Well I overcame all my fears, so now what?” But then I felt it. That icky feeling of stuck. Eek! And the unknown. Argh! Those fears are difficult to face because they are so vague. Like dark murky water and space. Outer space still scares me! And so does deep sea diving… Okay, so I guess I still have a few more fears to overcome. For now, it’s staying put. Being here now. It terrifies me. I’ve been to so many places and I’ve found so many homes, why make one here? I DON’T WANT TO GET STUCK. But if I don’t stick myself anywhere for long enough, I’ll never grow roots and I’ll never have the dog that licks my face and spins in circles every time I come home. I long to hear the sound of my dog howling in excitement.
It’s painful to grow roots. You have to water them, sing to them and be patient with them. Cheers to getting stuck in Austin again. May I have the stamina to stick around long enough to meet my future dog and build the dream of something extraordinary. And when I’m finally ready, may I find my way back to my soul home in Nicaragua ❤