Reflection + Realization

One week of distraction, one week of raw acceptance, seven days of feeling instead of thinking. There were times that I was searching for words, aloud or from within, I wanted words but I only received emotion. I'll admit now, this post is going to reach into every part of me. 

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I stopped dreaming on a regular basis a few years ago, not by choice of course, but naturally I was waking to no memory of one. Throughout those few years though the dreams that do make it through into what I feel is my reality, they are powerful, they leave me suddenly awake and drenched in cold sweat, racking my brain to find where it was rooted. Last year, my first trip down to the desert was met by my first night's sleep of a nightmare that I slipped into three times in one evening. This time, as I still try to figure out if this new dream was over the course of two nights or twice in one night, I remembered the feeling more than the lesson. I never reached the lesson. I woke with such sorrow and hurt in my heart as my dream was focused on walking away from my family but wanting them to reach for me, to pull me back, and they wouldn't, they were finally done with me. I was too stubborn to return, I kept fighting and fighting to prove a point (what point?) and to feel from them that they did not want me to leave. 

Both times that I have had these tremendous dreams and experiences, I have had two specific souls that were there for me to help me work through what some of it might mean (Tayler C. you're kind and genuine soul being there the first time, I am forever grateful). This time I was in the comfortable company of someone who has been in my life the longest thus far, excluding family, who was raised in a military family and who I used to steal skate shoes from in middle school because he was so much cooler than me, who has been through just as wild of a roaster coaster in his own way. As we talked, I came around to at least some conclusion that would set my mind at ease; we were raised to depend on our immediate family members, consistently, because they were the only ones that were consistent. Our military based childhoods were met with people always leaving, us trying to figure out how to make our parents stay while not understanding what a deployment was, holding onto friendships with dental floss thin strings, and trying desperately to find our roots throughout life when we finally leave the only lifestyle we've been taught. You develop such an indestructible relationship with your family members that there is fear in separation, fear in autonomy....we begin to realize that we only have each other. My dream was attacking my only set of roots while trying to tell me that no matter how scary it is to go beyond your family, that it is something that needs to happen. 

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The word "love"; why is this word so hard to get out when it actually means something? I still have a hard time telling my best friend that I love her as we hang up the phone because I mean it to such depths of my existence. Sometimes it means too much. 

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For the entirety of the time that I have been extremely aware of my body composition, beginning around fifth-grade and being teased for the hair on my legs still. The first time you shave your legs as a woman is like a huge deal, or at least it was for me and for my mom; she was tearing up and I was terrifyingly excited to see the hair disappear. But the years to follow would have me looking in a mirror at my legs and deciding to wear a pair of jeans in the midst of summer instead. The year that I came to Utah and really started to hike my ass off, I found myself becoming more accepting of my body as well as understanding that I had not been taking care of it to the level at which it was actually demanding. I used to hold the back of my thighs and cry, trying to rip at them for their cellulite and hideous demeanor. A couple of years ago while hiking/playing in a northern Utah forest, I was impulsed to be absorbing the sunshine, the water, the dirt, and the breezes, totally naked. It felt so genuine. There was discomfort at first in feeling your body hang in the wild, my legs felt jiggly and my boobs looked so weird to me, but the more you wiggle around and dance on your toes, the lighter it feels, the more natural you realize it all to be. This time, while down in the desert, I returned to this existence and was introduced to new experiences in bravery. I bathed in the Green River while never being able to visibly see my own two feet and sinking inches into a mud/clay mixture below and I have never enjoyed my time more. The freezing water in my pits, losing my breathe as it touched my scalp, and discovering that I actually probably put more dirt into my hair than was in it before, I was so present, so alive. That feeling is wildly addicting. 

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I went through a spell recently that had me convinced I could not find peace in being alone, that I had become too accustomed to sharing my presence with another soul that I felt robbed when without it. I had accepted it and tried very hard not to be too hard on myself for coming to this realization. Through time I have found that this was indeed only a brief encounter with a deeply rooted insecurity, as I spend my time now marveling in the freedoms of having to only check-in with my mother. My week in the desert fed my desire to be unattached and instead to be consumed by moments, not reaching for the future or dwelling on the past, but to be present for what was there before me. There is a greater love in being loved from afar, being loved hands-off. There is love in the breeze that carries your hand into another's, there is love in watching what you love, love. 

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