Wow, I have not updated this thing since Dec 21st, 2017, almost exactly a year ago. Some of you may or may not know, but I got really, really sick this year. My life basically crumbled, and I was unable to do very much of anything. I will have a longer detailed blog about what exactly happened but for now, I wanted to share this post.
My friend, Andrew Glenn, asked me to help contribute to a blog centered around the theme of, “What is home?” for Kammok. As I started to write it, I became so emotional thinking about what an awful year it has been. I couldn’t stop crying that morning, but it gave me so much clarity and relief writing down my thoughts, words and feelings. It was super weird, but I felt like I had such a profound revelation, like I’ve been saved again this season. But it only took me until now to see it.
Here it is:
Home is where I feel the most empowered, safe and most like myself.
This year was tough. And by the word tough, I think it’s quite the understatement.
I spent most of my life being selfish that only cared about myself and lived a life with a blindfold on. A few years ago, I met a Creator that broke down my walls and slowly began to soften my heart. It wasn’t overnight, and it has taken almost a decade of trials and error to shape who I am and who I want to become. And to this day, I’m still messing up and trying to learn how to change and grow as a person. But I knew I no longer wanted to live a life for myself but for Him.
We are not perfect. Life is not perfect nor will it ever be.
This year took me by surprise. I was completely blindsided, but I don’t think I could’ve been ever more thankful. On January 1st, 2018, I began developing a chronic illness that completely destroyed my immune system, my hormones, my skin, my mental wellness and ultimately, my entire life. I lived in isolation, pain and suffered daily for most of the year. For so many months, I couldn’t see any light at the end of the dark, dark tunnel. There were several times in my darkest moments where I no longer saw my life was even worth living, but I was given hope. I was given hope by the survivors, the warriors, my life long friends, my trail family, strangers and acquaintances. I have always known that the people I’ve surrounded myself were placed in my life for a reason. It brought me closer to some while letting the unhealthy relationships go. I was given grace, compassion, love, support and I didn’t deserve any of it, at all.
After about 10 months, I finally saw a turning point. Slowly, I began feeling more like myself and was able to say “yes” again. Though I’m currently still healing, I was finally able to wear my normal clothes, have dinner with people other than myself, go out in public without hiding, bend my limbs without it cracking open, not be bedridden for 12 hours each night and was able to sleep more than 45 minute intervals. I was grateful. Grateful for the small things in life. It brought me joy to take a walk at the park down the street, see my friends playing with their kids and dogs and being able to lay on the carpet with my niece to hear all about what she had been learning in school. This brought me joy: to see a glimpse of what my life used to be like.
Last month, I was asked by the Kammok team, “What is home to you?” I had to think a bit. I poured out in tears when I shared that I used memories of trail to escape my most painful moments of this year. I would replay memories of the desert where I met some of the most important people in my life today. Trail was where I felt the most empowered, safe and most like myself. My body felt the strongest, and we had no expectations but to eat, walk and sleep. I’ve never felt so comfortable in my own skin than in the wilderness. The trail was my home.
Forest and Pine and the Kammok team came up to WA and created this video all about this theme, you can watch it here:
I had the best time with new and old friends on this little trip. It was my first night way from home with other people of all year. They showed me so much love and support and just listened to me cry so much. It was exactly what I needed. It was the first glimpse of what my life used to be like all year. It was quite strange to see photos of myself smiling and looking happy again but as the new me.
It’s a bit strange to see how last year compares to this year, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.
Stay tuned for a 2018 month to month update on TSW. :)