*September 25, 2013*
I’ve been known to take some pretty epic falls. I’m not talking about a little trip, or slide to one knee, but full-blown face plants and bleacher blowouts; the kinds of falls where you hear everyone gasp and hold their breath, waiting to see if something is broken or if they can laugh at the ridiculous failure of my feet.
At one of UNR’s biggest football games, I was walking with a friend in front of the boxes, and ended up slipping and falling down seven rows of bleachers, in front of hundreds of people. At my own birthday party, I was walking with a group of about 20+ people to a baseball game, and when a friend tried to give me a "flat tire," I actually ended up flying into the air and landing, arms and face first into the pavement. But every time it happens, I get up, brush myself off, and am the first to laugh at the hilarity that seems so epic it could’ve been staged on a sitcom. Bruised and limping, I play it off, knowing that if it weren’t me, I’d probably be laughing too, and that in a day or two (or perhaps a couple weeks when they’re really bad) it’ll all be forgotten as that one time I fell like a bumbling fool.
These falls are not limited to the literal sense either. I’ve also been known to do some crazy things, such as moving to Chicago on a whim because I liked the subway system, not knowing a soul in the city, with only a hotel room booked for four days, and faith that I could figure something out in that time. Or going on a 30-day backpacking trip through the jungles of Costa Rica, when I had absolutely no backpacking experience and was in the worst shape of my life.
In the figurative sense, I’ve taken some equally epic face plants; I envision them in a cartoon sense as though I’m Bamm-Bamm’s club, subjected to the excessive and unusual strength of Bamm-Bamm, the metaphorical universe. I’m pretty confident that the figurative falls are far more painful than the literal ones, which is great perspective when you’ve nose-dived in front of a crowd of people; and similarly, I know eventually I'll "walk it off," though that's not quite so easy to remember when the universe has dropped you on your face.
The thing is, however bruised my heart, soul, and/or ego is, however slowly I limp back to the path I had somehow deviated from, I always find a way to get up, brush myself off, and eventually laugh at that one time I did something ridiculous, unplanned (or poorly planned), and a little bit wild. Usually, not only do these rides make for the greatest stories that I can look back on fondly, they tend to lead to the greatest breakthroughs. I learned more about myself, what I wanted, and I what I could create. I discovered my own strength and ability to survive the outdoors better than I would have imagined, especially while heartbroken. And in Oregon, I’m realizing that I am in the right place for now, even if I’m not sure exactly why that is yet.
I don’t have my life all figured out. In fact, the last time I even thought I had my life figured out was when I was 19, and how much do we really know at 19?? I didn’t follow a linear path. My projected path has changed more times than I can count and my planned location has always been some vague idea in my mind’s imagination. But in the last 48 hours, I’ve realized that “I am in the perfect place and nothing has gone wrong."
I set out on this summer adventure to find a place to put down roots and create a career/lifestyle that would be fulfilling and positive; though I haven’t quite figured out either, I know in my soul that I'm moving in the right direction. Over the summer, I had written a blog "Eugenia"; upon moving to Eugene, I saw a sign that a favorite store was hiring and when I turned in my resume, I mentioned my blog in the cover letter, so they could know more about me, and my love for their store/this town. When they called to offer me the job, the owner told me that upon checking out my blog, he realized he had been reading it this summer, somehow stumbling upon already. I was overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude, elated that somehow I was already connected; my writing was making it to the eyes of readers whom I'd never even met (yet).
While waiting for the water to boil for my tea, I studied the bag that contained my favorite Yogi Tea, only to discover that they are from Eugene, OR. Yep, I was definitely supposed to be here for a reason.
Today, I was coming home from a long, tumultuous day, contemplating ideas of balance (for each high there is an equal and opposite low). I’ve thought a lot about the power of women in the past year. I am always perplexed by (though not immune to) the struggles women have in finding awareness of their own power, and the potential that could be created if we chose to work together; if women treated each other with the respect they wished to receive, what kind of insane power could we unleesh together? If every woman worked towards understanding their fellow females from a place of compassion and understanding, rather than competition, what would happen to the world as we know it? Well, as I unwound from what turned out to be a fabulous day, I received a message from one of my favorite ladies -- a powerful and compassionate woman that I had the pleasure of connecting with this summer. Lo and behold, she wanted to discuss the possibility of working together on creating a community for women that could be accessed by any woman, any where.
Officially, my mind has been blown, and it’s all because of the cosmically-planned metaphorical face plant I once again found myself diving into. I may not have my life figured out, I may change my mind and plans as quickly as the weather changes, and I may make some seemingly spontaneous decisions, but I know that my journey is mine, and whenever I get to wherever I’m going, I’ll be able to look back and laugh at all the crazy, stumbling, fumbling falls I’ve taken, literally and figuratively.
Stories from the road-trip that inspired moving to the PNW, and other travel adventures.