Another pro leisure tour in the books. As I sit here and write this, listening to a Bob Marley live vinyl, I think of how much has changed in the past year.
It feels instinctual to write something right now. This transition usually begs for a thought provoking blog post, a summary of my winter adventures, profound things I’ve learned. A year ago I wrote about Ecuador, the tree lot, and a quick, not to in depth blurb about the Grand Canyon, a trip I’m actually still processing. I see all my friend’s pictures on Facebook, the steep walls, the swirly water, the battle wounds, and I remember snippets. I guess I’m still coming to terms with my trip, with the things that happened inside me almost with no warning.
A year ago my life changed completely. I spent most of the summer and following months unable to write, to be vulnerable about it, mostly because I was still sorting through it. I can’t explain to you how disarming it was to not be able to put my feelings and thoughts into words on paper. Not to be able to publish them somehow. I read somewhere once about how a writer isn’t truly done processing something until it’s been put out in public where people can read it. It doesn’t even matter if anyone reads it, the process isn’t complete until that’s a possibility.
Some people can sit over a beer and process verbally. When I try to do that, nothing really happens, I just get super frustrated and whoever is trying to understand me gets super confused.
Anyway, all this to say, I’m sitting here thinking about how much has changed in a year. This is the end of another pro leisure tour, and it’s the tamest but maybe most profound one yet. I basically spent all winter in Pisgah with Pigeon, mostly by myself, mostly just thinking. I don’t have any big trips to recap, I’m not going to write about what gear did what for me this winter, and I don’t have any profound thoughts to make you think.
All I have is this: What I’ve learned this winter is that I may not have control over much, but I have control over how I feel and how I let things affect me. I also have control over what kind of life I want.
I can’t make someone hire me, I can’t make someone love me, I can’t make someone be my friend, or my car run forever, and I can’t make Pigeon not have seizures, but I can control how much I love people, and how much I let their love or hate for me affect my self image. I can control if I let a crappy rainy day make me sad, or if I try really hard to see the silver lining.
Right now I feel the healthiest and most balanced I have in a long time. Part of it I blame on the seemingly mundane routines I’ve developed. Simply deciding to control my mind isn’t enough most days, I’ve realized I need certain things to help me feel secure in my life. Realizing these things have helped me learn how to be calm and grounded, and really relax into who I am. Things like time in the woods alone, pushing my body on a mountain bike, or a morning routine help me feel like me.
So maybe right now, while Bob is singing about women not crying, I can think about pro leisure tour ending, and realize that this might have been the quietest, tamest one yet, but it was still profound in its own way.