And So We Grow
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about how we change and grow through the seasons and how we become who we are. Of course, who we are is constantly changing; who I am today is not who I'll be tomorrow. I believe there are parts of us that simply are, without reason or explanation. But then there are the more malleable bits of us that evolve as we experience the world. Such notions have left me wondering what kind of woman I want to be.
I woke up this past Monday morning determined to take myself out of the city. The days that came before it were strange and emotional and made me wonder what the hell I've been doing these past few weeks. It's as if I've been crawling through the dark searching for something unidentifiable. So, I got in my car and I drove east toward Mt. Hood. I had no plans. I was alone on an open road and it was exactly what I needed to make sense of things.
After driving around and exploring the Mt. Hood area for a few hours, I decided to wander up to Lost Lake and hike up the Lost Lake Butte trail for as long as my bum knee would let me. (I didn't make it very far before needing to turn around and prevent further injury.) I tend to answer life's tough questions when I'm alone in the woods and this trip was no different. I pondered who I was when I left the east coast and who I've become since moving west and somewhere along the way, it became painfully clear that I know exactly who I want to become. And now there is nothing left to do but become her.
When I was growing up, my mom and I used to spend lazy afternoons sifting through boxes and boxes of old photos from her adventures in during her twenties. I was always inspired by her adventurous spirit and dreamed of living a life like hers. While lost among the trees, I realized that I might have a daughter someday and when she and I sift through my old photos together, I want her to be inspired by me in the way I was inspired by my mom.
I want my daughter to be raised by a woman who wasn't afraid to follow her dreams and explore the world on her own. I want her to see her mom as someone strong and resilient and brave. I want her to see a woman who isn't afraid to live fully and freely. Someone who keeps her heart open to love and adventure and uncertainty, no matter how much pain she experiences. I'd like to think that I'm on my way to becoming that person, but I know that I still have a long way to go.