This post is a little introspective, so if you don’t want to know what’s going on inside of me, then stop reading. Also stop reading if you think “what’s going on inside of me” means that you’ll get to see how my lungs work or something like that. This isn’t the Discovery Channel (TM.)
And for the fan faithful out there, I did want to title this post, “The Man Inside Me” but decided against it. Okay, away we go.
I’m the kind of person who likes to do a lot of things. I enjoy activities across a pretty broad spectrum, and for the most part, I give equal time to the left and right sides of my brain. Why should one side get to have all the fun? I think that’s unfair to half-brains everywhere. So I really like singing, acting, playing an instrument or two and taking photographs; but I also get a kick out of coding, learning new programming languages, and making complex Excel spreadsheets. I like making spreadsheets for the purposes that could as easily be served by scribbling notes on a post-it. I can’t really make it sound as nerdy as it really is.
All of these diverse interests make me pretty content with moving from one thing to another really quickly. I like the feel of a new project and the creative energy that comes out when working on something completely different. And I really like to finish stuff and wrap it up neatly. As many of my closest friends know, I get into a pretty deep funk in the middle of projects. Thankfully, I try to move from one project to the next so quickly, that the middle is really short. So there’s that.
Last year was a really terrific year. Both Layne and I really made an effort to do as much as we could within the limits of our time and money. We road tripped to Portland, the Oregon Coast, Zion, the Grand Canyon, Missoula and lots of points in between. We camped and backpacked in some of the coolest places I’ve ever been, and pretty much everywhere we went, we had fishing poles and managed to get a line in the water. I know that a lot of people live lives that are as active, and in many cases, much more active than we’ve been in the last year. But for us, the only thing that keeps us from spending all our time reflecting on how awesome the past year was, is the fact that we have to dedicate time to planning this next year. Camping in the Sawtooths and Frank Church, music festivals at Redfish Lake, and new destinations like Jackson, Yellowstone, Bozeman, San Diego, Seattle and British Colombia.
But all of that was before I decided to come over here for a year. And I’ve got to say that I thought, all the way up until I left, that even though I was sad to step out for a year, that I was going to feel okay once I got going on something new. I thought I would be able to just move to the next thing, because that’s the way I’ve always lived my life.
I’ve been in a slightly turbulent emotional state since being here because I’ve been homesick – that’s a given – but more than that, I’ve been missing the things I thought I wasn’t going to miss so much. There have been moments in which I’ve thought that if I didn’t find a place to fish, or have plans to find one, I was going to scream. This last winter was really long for me, because most of the activities I like to do the most are in the summer and fall. I feel like I went through that winter and now, I have to wait an extra year to get to the summer that I’ve been missing.
The perceptive reader would, at this point, be wondering to herself (sorry guys – I’m not even assuming you’ll make it this far) what the big deal is, and why she’s wasted so much time with this blog post. I guess the point of it is that I miss home – in a way that I’ve never missed home before. I miss the outdoors and the hiking and the fishing and I miss Garden Valley, Idaho. I think that I used to believe that people who missed stuff – couldn’t let go of the old and move onto the new were somehow not right. I’m starting to realize that those people had something I didn’t have – a real passion for the things they love to do. I’ve been passion-less. It used to be that I was drawn to those who had a passion for life and I think it was because I didn’t have it, and it was like a magnet for me. Now, after a long road, I’ve come to the place where I think that I’m now one of those people that has a passion – has a love for something. Does that mean that I’ll always be passionate about camping and wish I was camping all the time? I don’t think so, but at least it means that somehow, out of the wreckage of my early 30′s, something good is growing.
In those times when I’m on the base here and I feel a sharp pain in my chest when I realize that I can’t go and do what I want, I feel a little comfort in the fact that the pain means something, and when I didn’t feel it, I didn’t mean as much.
Anyway, this is how my lungs work. . . .
And love is not the easy thing
The only baggage that you can bring…
Is all that you can’t leave behind.
Beautiful post. Filled with transparent honesty and still a sprinkling of that great Adam humor Change is hard. Growth is harder. Passion is consuming – the highs are higher and the lows are lower but the journey is the ride of a life time. I cannot imagine being confined as you are and I am much older and slower these days. What I do know though is this, your dedication to making the most of life – including a sacrificial year in Afghanistan – is remarkable and commendable. Keep on writing, dreaming and living – you are making a difference my friend. Love & Blessings- Debbie
Welcome to a walk in my shoes brother, it gets somewhat better, believe me.
I’m walking in your shoes? Excellent. I lika yo shoes. I could do far far worse than walking in your shoes little brother.