Confessions of a Gypsy Soul

I’ve not been blogging about food as much lately. I’m still eating a plant based diet, but I’m spending the month of March backpacking through Indonesia with my friend Andrew, so I’ve been on a pretty strict beans and rice meal plan to save money. Every meal of beans and rice here is a surf board rental, massage on the beach, or a hostel stay there. This helps me love my simple meals, and maybe I’ll post a bean recipe soon.

Even if I wasn’t eating mostly beans and rice (which I’m not, I’m eating lots of spinach and tofu, too), I’ve been more interested in lifestyle writing lately. Being a writer means baring one’s soul often, and getting brutally honest in order to write good content. I’m intrigued by how my haphazard lifestyle has provided so much peace for me the past year, so, in true writer style, I’ve been writing alot about it to understand it better.

If you’re not into that, then check out some other blogs. “Oh How She Glows” is a great vegan blog I recommend, as well as “Edible Perspective”. If I could figure out how to post links, I would. When I figure it out, I will.

Kayaking!

The other night I went to see the movie “Pretty Faces”. Its about badass skiing ladies, and is excellent. I highly recommend you rent it on vimeo and support them.

The movie reminded me of my 7 year love affair with whitewater kayaking. I begun the 2 most important, volatile, love-hate and intense love affairs of my life on the same day, in the same place. I fell head over heels for kayaking, and a Mississippi boy who had followed me to the blue mountains of Appalachia.

Over the next 7 years, these relationships would be the central driving forces in my life. They would shape who I became, they would provide a stability I had never known in a childhood spent moving every 6 months. But fairytales wouldn’t be exciting if there were no enemies, evil times, or darkness. The two relationships that provided my wandering spirit a safe place to rest would also both take a turn breaking my heart.

There are two types of people in this world. There are the kind who’s lives resemble a clean horizon line, like the kind at a beach. You know, straight, flat, maybe slightly curved here or there. Their lives are beautiful, they glow from the setting sun. These are the people with jobs in cities, the ones who wake up and drink French Roast coffee out of white cups, read the paper, put on beige suits and drive to reliable jobs in safe cars.

Then there are the people who don’t fit this mold. I spent years feeling broken. I can’t stay anywhere very long (growing up constantly moving between states never helped this). I like jobs where I am doing a variety of different tasks, in a variety of different places. I have this burning, overwhelming need for kayaking and wide open places. The world is my home, I can’t imagine not seeing as much of it as possible. I got married and then proceeded to spend the first year mostly alone. I never changed my name, and I only wear a wedding ring half the time.

I excel in environments half the world finds bizarre, but it is here that I have finally found where I belong. For my half of the population, our lives resemble the horizon lines of a wild and rugged mountain range. There are sharp inclines, followed by sometimes intense drops.

Some of the low points in my life included terrifying swims while kayaking, prompting a year long hiatus from the sport. I spent days sitting in our green chair staring at the wall, trying to figure out why the thought of putting the kayak on the car was exhausting and terrifying. My muscles lost their beautiful toned lines, and even my dog began to plead with me to return to my happy self.

But those days were followed by the days of kayaking again. I found the happiness that is a rushing river, the peace in an environment so fluid it matched my own life, and therefore provided the familiarity I craved. My muscles grew back, I got back on harder creeks, and I stood on top of the peak in my life’s mountain range, in awe of how good life can be.

In the movie “Pretty Faces”, they talk about doing whatever job it takes to have the money for skiing. For them, this obsession with the snow reminds me of the obsession I have with whitewater. It may ruin my life, but if I end up finding a place my gypsy soul can finally rest in, isn’t that worth all the down climbs?

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