Thursday, May 21, 2009
everything I wish I could be
Perhaps the most unlikely and unflinchingly constant supporter of the life I'm choosing to live is my grandmother. Don't get me wrong, we've always been close, but the closer I get to being a "grown-up", the more I realize that our bond has less to do with the fact that I'm her oldest grandkid and more to do with the idea that we are just very alike. She definitely kept my fierce sense of personal justice (read: butting heads with mom) at bay during who-knows-how-many maternal altercations during my adolescence.
I've always seen my grandma as a cautious person, a reliable harbinger of grandmotherly judgment. She's the first to remind me it's not safe to be outside after dark. Therefore, it's interesting for me to consider that my own restless spirit finds its roots in hers. However, she's been the one to acknowledge and approve of my transition to climbing and generally adventurous pursuits...and not brush it off the way others in my family do, reminding me that I have other things to worry about.
At lunch on Mothers' Day, she revealed things about herself and what she has wanted to do and I realized she holds a cache of as-yet-unfulfilled dreams that align rather closely with my own. In some ways, I feel that she encourages me to chase these adventures because she didn't. I don't mean that I am in some way making up for any of that, but that she "gets" it/me. I don't have to explain why I want to see the world and do all these things, because she does too. And to have someone like that...is pretty amazing.
Some days it's all I can do not to pick up and drive out of town, up to the Valley or out to the boulders...just to be somewhere a little more tranquil where I can feel more in my element than I do here in town. As a recent convert to the world of adventure and outdoorshood, I'm still awestruck by the ease with which I can seriously consider absconding responsibility just to get out and breathe easier and get a little dirt under my nails. Up until a year or two ago, I found definition in what I accomplished--my academics, musical pursuits--and those things are still an integral part of who I am and what I love, but I am not defined solely by them. I'm at a place where my restless spirit can rest easy, where my inherent anxiousness is tempered by an inexhaustible sense of contentment.
Life is so so so good, friends. And that's not just the endorphins talking.