Just when I think things are perfect and I’m so busy looking at life through rose colored glasses and melting snow listening to “What Ifs” by Kane Brown marveling at how sappy I suddenly am (who AM I?! Help me find my ever loving cynicism!) and I sit down after a great morning hike and turn on my computer and BAM. It hits me in the face and out of nowhere I’m at my desk shaking in tears.

It would seem that even when I least expect it, I still have my demons and dragons lurking around. I’m trying to get better with overthinking. I’m trying to not pre-play every scenario and every possible conversation and every possible answer, next step, and outcome out in my mind. When I do that, I make myself crazy with the endless unfathomable possiblities and usually what happens in the end is something I never thought of in the first place anyway. Before you know it, I’m sitting up wide awake at 4am trying to make my very humanly fallible brain grasp the quite inhuman concept of non-linear math and things like infinity, the applied infiniteness of the galaxy, the exponential potential combinations of things like life, congruent and concurrent time overlapped with concepts of three and four plane mathematics overlaid with ideas of fractal math to fractal time to if it would be possible to mathematically prove ideas such as theories presented in the much loved children’s book “A Wrinkle in Time” or the lesser known Piers Anthony series “Fractal Mode” all based on these things. And people wonder why sometimes I can’t sleep…

So what was it today? Last night I mostly slept (minus some slight insomnia thanks to new thyroid meds taken at the wrong time that day). I didn’t contemplate all the theories my brain likes to profoundly toss about. I had a beautiful morning hike with a friend and my dogs. I texted with a guy I went on one date with so far (yes, me! wtf? to be fair he seems really awesome and I can’t wait to see him again). I’m in the process of breaking down walls and maybe, just maybe, starting to untangle that barbed wire from around my heart. So what was it?

Still Demons & Dragons

i still fight demons and i still believe in dragons

My good friend passed away last summer of stage 4 breast cancer. She was my age. We rode together. She always wanted to come camping with us with the horses and had talked about it for a few years. She loved my trailer with living quarters, and as a gift to herself after her initial diagnosis and chemo, she bought one like it – even nicer and brand new – it was beautiful. Drove all the way to Florida with her father to go get it. And she got to use it a few times. We rode together last spring and she had the trailer. But she never got to really camp in it.

There it was on Facebook this morning, for sale. It makes sense of course. I’m actually sorta surprised that her parents didn’t list it sooner. It’s brand new and absolutely stunning. But it hit me right in the gut that she wasn’t here to go camping with. The cancer came back with a vengeance and she didn’t make it through last summer. She never got to camp in that trailer in the mountains with us. And while my rose colored glasses are still pretty rosy, and my life is still pretty amazing as I picked up Rilian (my truck) from the shop this morning to head down the shore tomorrow to see an old friend, it also reminded me that there are no guarantees in life.

Above all, be YOU

So love whom you love. Be yourself. Stop making excuses, and please don’t waste time playing games. Life has no rules. There’s no wait x amount of days before calling, or don’t text him too much because it may be too fast. Don’t call him until he calls you. Wait for the right time to do this. Wait for the weather to be better to plan that trip. Wait til you save a little more money to go here or there. Wait for what, really?

i found this nailed to a walkway deep in the woods at my favorite trail – sometimes all you need is a little hope, and to keep on hiking

Nothing. Stop waiting. LIVE. Live your life today. Be present in the moment and soak up the sun, but also soak up the clouds and the fog and the rain and the snow because all of that together is part of what makes life beautiful. Be happy for the friend you had (even if she’s gone now, and the others that are gone too) rather than wishing for the “could have beens” and “should have dones” that never came.

I’m not saying run blindly into the night screaming in glee as you guess whether the light at the other end of the tunnel is daylight or a train (spoiler alert: it’s probably a train). No, I’m not saying run blindly anywhere at all. I’m saying that sometimes you need to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and have a little faith. Finding a little hope along the trail often helps too. And then remember, you’re not new. This life isn’t new. And chances are you’ve had other lives before this one too. But this life we’re not in Narnia (and from what I hear, there’s even conflict there from time to time – just ask the White Witch). We’re right here on Earth, and the most we can do is make the best of who we are and the people that are in our lives today.

You never know when there’s demons and dragons hiding around the next bend. I’m manic. I always will be. I can go from flying as high as a bird to crashing and burning when I see my friend’s trailer for sale and I realize just how much I miss her – still – and likely always will. I want to warn you – I have demons and dragons. I’ll likely be escaping them my entire life, or lives. I don’t know if they follow you from this life to the next, I’ve never stopped to ask. I’ve been too busy fighting for my life, for what I believe in, and everything I stand for. This time, it seems like life is good – really good. Not just superficially good. But good in a way I haven’t entirely felt before, and in a way that’s both exhilarating, inspiring, and more than a little bit terrifying. When I fuck this up, can I live through this again? What if I don’t fuck this up? What if I do? What if the issue is me – what if it’s always been me? What if I’m not seeing around the next corner or thinking too far or not far enough ahead? What if my father was right and I’m not good enough? What if I never will be good enough? Sometimes there’s a reassurance in solitude and a comfort in a fortress built around being alone that also brings with it a sense of security that allows all the friends in the world in – without ever needing to ever really let anyone live there.

The what ifs will kill you if you let them. And the worst one is the one that’s the what if you never took that chance. But they’re friends with my demons – the what ifs are – and I’m trying to keep them all at bay. The dragons, however, they just keep telling me to open my eyes and see that I always could fly – and suddenly – I’m flying again. So take that chance, the chance of the most important what if. Isn’t it worth flying for?

To all of you who believe in dragons, keep on believing. I believe, too. This is for you. Because I always have been and always will be that girl.