A Grand Perspective - Life & Love
If you have never visited the Grand Canyon in Arizona I highly recommend this unbelievable place. As the AZ sun blasted me out of the back of my sleeping nest at 5:30am I scampered into the hotel for a clean bathroom and a scandalous free hot breakfast. I am limping back to Arkansas on minimal cash funds and have even started to recycle my Starbucks cups for free Gold card refills for the next 3 days. I do not feel the least bit guilty getting a few cups of free coffee as my journey winds down, as I have spent thousands of dollars at Starbucks over the years. My Starbucks Gold Card to so old and worn it is hard to see the date of 2008 on the front.
The drive yesterday out of the CA Mohave desert was brutally hot reaching temperatures of 120 degrees all afternoon. I pulled into a Love’s truck stop for gas last night around 8:00pm and my temperature gauge on the Outback was still reading 113 degree’s. I have no idea why people would ever live in this desert heat, but I guess it is all based on your perspective. Recently I read a great book called, “The Book of Joy – Lasting Happiness is a Changing World,” by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. Throughout the book I continued to return to a paragraph in which The Dalai Lama mentions how your perspective shapes your reality. For me personally I am fully embracing how this simple statement of staying present in my day with purpose, intention, and actions are completely altering the way I see my purpose in this world. An additional observation for myself is how I allowed my mind to be filled with stories that I created and kept churning over and over. These needless stories created terrible anxiety that was completely unnecessary. I beat myself up emotionally for years creating the what if’s, what now, I wonder what they will think, I need to do more of this to impress, I am not enough, and I could never write for a career. I continually played this story in my head, “Deb what if you are broke, file bankruptcy, lose your home and are homeless. You have bills to pay and responsibilities, get your shit together, and stop thinking about all this stuff.” I had enormous fears last year of being locked in a closet for the rest of my life and trapped with no options or way out. Well here is the best part of the story, I am basically broke, will loose pretty much everything in my divorce, and will be homeless by the end of summer. I am a pretty lucky woman and feel blessed to have been gifted this incredible lesson in life about perspective, passion, and purpose. When I dreamed up the idea of this travel blog back in April my intention was to rediscover my passion and purpose in life through a 30-day trip across the country with no expectations or itinerary. I am on day 27 of the adventure and I am more than elated with the unexpected outcomes, stories of failure, fear, courage, and kindness. In fact I keenly sense an extended version of my adventure blog travel series will be coming soon to a computer screen near you. I fully understand that it would not be appropriate for my friends and family with professional responsibilities to pack up the car with $1100.00 cash and say, “See you guys in a month, I will living out of the back of my car and driving across the country on an epic road trip to find myself.” On the other hand, I promise I have learned so much about myself, as I will share things about me that I think are funny, serious, weird, and endearing. I have been keeping a paper journal of interesting things I have been learning, loving, and appreciating about myself. To date I have recorded 143 things that I would have never considered actually writing on paper. Now I am not sharing the entire list for your reading pleasure, as some things are extremely personal and for my eye’s and heart only. I recommend doing a list of things you like, love, and adore about you, as it has been very valuable and reflective for my healing.
I love to drive with the windows down and radio blaring. I know the words to a lot of songs. I am not scared to be alone, I enjoy it. I love to write peoples stories. I love to travel, a lot. I love the ocean and tall redwoods. I will live there soon. I love to dance. I love being free to make my own decisions. I love not wearing a bra. I love to camp and the smells of the forest. I love feeling vulnerable with no expectations. I love yoga. I love deep conversations. I love red wine and a hot tub. I love clean sheets. I love to drive faster than I should in the mountains. I love live music in the park. I love the opera. I love not spending $ for a good time. I love having no schedule or bells. I love a nice ass, breasts, and just shaven legs. I love to play indoors and outdoors. I love coffee, sunsets, full moon, and laughing. I love that I am getting my passport. I love spell check. I love changing plans in the beginning, middle or end. I love that I am brave. I love that I get to write my story. I love that I am showing up for myself. I love the smell of a dryer vent. I love long hair pulled back in hat, super sexy. I love sniffing old airplanes. I love turning my phone off…for days. I love to wash a dirty car. I love Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love to learn. I love to teach kids and adults. I love Frank Sinatra, Karen Carpenter, Anne Murray, and 70 soft rock love songs, & Abba. I am loving to learn about redefining love.
I have spent hundreds of hours in deep reflection and mediations with my soul to clearly identify common threads I desire for my future peaceful, happy, and joyful life. I have had to completely strip down many of my walls of preconceived notions and ridiculous expectations for myself and others wrapped up in my head for years. I have re-written my definition of what love could, would, or should feel like about 20 times. I sit here and am amazed that my prior perspective of love was completely based on an allusion of something quite shocking and restrictive. I have been blessed with 2 great loves in my life and I deeply loved both of these women with my entire heart. The heartache of loss will always be apart of this life and the next. I lost my first love at 25 years old and the second love at 48. The very painful loss of my marriage, wife, partner, and dear friend of 17 years is very complicated and has multiple segments of love and loss that I will spend years untangling, grieving, and processing. I understand that I had to walk away and leave because I loved her so much that it was beyond cruel to continue to hurt her with my mean words and own personal disappointment. This story and situation is truly one of the greatest tragedies two people could ever endure. I harbor no ill feelings towards the accident and what happened over the past 3-½ years as I did the best I could with the tools in my box. I could probably write multiple pages on this subject and may decide to write more in the future as I continue to learn more about myself and live each day with peace and presence. I cannot change the past and I will not chase the future! I am grounding myself in the here and now, because that is what I need to focus on for my journey. I will never beat myself up again for not saying or doing something after the fact is over. As I arrive back in Arkansas on Saturday I will continue to set my daily intention with staying here and now. I am not worried today, nor will I be worried tomorrow about things, situations, changes, or people who are on their own journey. I have tasted the sweet nectar of peace, joy, and harmony; therefore I have no intent of anything less for my future. It is not worth any type of suck hole altercation in Arkansas over finances or material possessions as these are not the things that feed my soul and give me passion & purpose. As the Dalai Lama mentions in his book, “Use each day to make the world a little better.” I am very happy to write this blog and allow people to follow my journey with no expectations of comments; you go girl, or other ego feeding responses. If my journey and this blog resonates or helps anyone within their own journey that is truly enough for me as telling my story is part of my healing.
Today when I woke up in Flagstaff, AZ I felt the strong urge to go visit the Grand Canyon, which was about 70 miles north of Interstate 40 East. To boot there was a great aviation museum on highway 64 on the drive to the Grand Canyon. I have driven past the air museum at least 5 times over the years and wanted to stop every time. There was no way in hell I was driving past it today! I love all airplanes and especially old war birds from WWII. This morning I was waiting in the parking lot for the museum to open at 9:00am, so I could be the first history nerd in the hanger to sniff the old girls. There is a very distant smell of 70-80 year old metal, oil, hydraulic fluid, and exhaust fumes from an old radial engine even if she has not been fired up in 50 years. Being the first and only person in the air museum this morning I was like a kid on candy crack and broke all the rules not adhering to the rope barriers. I walked close and personal with the old girls rubbing my face against the engine cowlings for the best angle of attack feeding my strange aviation smell addiction. The museum had a great old bone yard in the back and they allowed me to crawl all over the airplanes that were basically scrapped metal for parts. I was even able to pry the sun-scorched cockpit canopies open and take a closer look into several old timepieces of aviation lost in crashes or timed out of service. My heart and soul left the Planes of Fame Air Museum this morning full of great memories, my nose satisfied with toxic chemicals, and my continued lifetime enjoyment of new bird knowledge.
I have about 1200 more miles to drive over the next couple of days and about $80.00 left in my wallet. I might need to use my ATM card for a little gas on the way back to Arkansas, but I am proud that I was able to stick to my budget of cash only on this trip. My breathtaking skydiving event in Page, AZ about 3 weeks ago was an unexpected expense, but worth every penny. Over the past month I have been blessed to sleep in a real bed or couch for 8 nights and had a several days of hot showers. For me personally the biggest takeaway for thus far is being able to be quiet, silent, and sit still reflecting by myself. My heart is on her way to mend and my soul and spirit have spoken softly along the path guiding me into the future. I have a much healthier perspective of love today for myself than when I left Arkansas May 30th. The change in my daily perspective of looking at myself has and is shaping my improved reality of LOVE into the future, both for myself and someday another.
L – Life – Live It Now – No Limits – Laugh a lot
O – Opportunity that may or may not come
V – Vine that grows on its own accord
E – Everyone, positive energy, NO expectations
Love surprises us, love is peaceful, love is blind, love has multiple colors of brilliance, and love is what it is and has no name. Love is INFINITE, and takes no shape, certainly not a square. Love is priceless, yet cost nothing. Love is unseen beauty in all of us. Love keeps us up at night, and sometimes puts us to sleep. Love transforms us, teaches us, and gives us passion in the moment, and light for tomorrow. Love truly has no official definition that would restrict flow. Love does not live in one spot, house, place; love is a traveler, love roams, love experiences life and all she has to offer. Love crosses the line, love is an apology, love is sorrow, love is grief, love is heartbreak, and love is moving on. Love plays, love are patience, love waits, love is in a moment, and love disappears and appears. Love cannot be restricted as that is cruel. Love is to be shared, multiple times in life, with many people.
May the Journey Begin Within You