Here I sit. At camp in the Smoky Mountains. Well, they all call them the GREAT Smoky Mountains. I guess it is all about perspective.
I hit my six month mark. I cannot believe that much time, and yet so little time, has even passed. In fact, I have very little sense of time these days. I mean, the sun rises and sets and stuff happens in between. It is then dark for an increasing number of hours, and I read and sleep and play with my campfire if I have one. Time is not something I can put my finger on.
I truly have no words for what this is like. I am over the moon, sated and complete in a way I never thought possible. I am one with the Universe and have an inner calm, and yet I still swear at drivers who go way below the fucking speed limit. I meet people every day and I feel times of alone and times of loneliness. I have traveled thousands, literally, of miles and yet I feel right at home. Sometimes I am not even sure where I am, and yet, the Jeep and my gear tell me I am home.
I am in awe of this process and of the gifts I receive every day. The fact that I am even writing this while on this pilgrimage astounds me. I do not mean to brag or sound like I am living some life nobody else can. In fact, quite the opposite. Oh contrare mon frare. It was and is WAY easier than it should or could have been. It feels so natural and so right. I feel like I am home nearly all the time. Even when I am not sure what fucking time it is or what fucking state I am in, I am still and somehow home.
I feel like the luckiest person in the world to be doing and living in the exact way I want. I mean, this is IT for me. This is the fantasy I always had. This brings to life that which I thought never possible. Sure, it is costing me money. I am nearly though my “sell my shit” money. But, that is why I sold my shit. In fact, more shit is made and sold and for sale each and every day. There is so much shit in this world. Walk into a Walmart and you will see the amounts we can have on a daily basis. That is not even the shit that is being bought and sold second hand. There is an endless supply of shit and I will not go without when I leave this vagabond life.
People often ask me, “Where is your favorite place?”, or “What have you liked the best?” How do I even answer those questions. I have been on the ocean, on the river, in the desert. I have been in the mountains and the plains and the rainforest and the grasslands. I have been in the north and the south. It has been cold and hot and in the wind and still and loud and quiet as hell. I have been amongst a gazillion people and then been completely and totally alone. I have been amongst friends and been amongst the trees. Each place, each way to be, is it’s own unique experience that I cannot even compare to the others. I cannot even begin to separate one from the other from the next. They are all so special in their own right. They are all so individual and have their own challenges and gifts and lessons. I cannot compare them. I can accept each for the special offerings it has and the lessons it teaches me.
I still hate the wind and the really cold. I can do it and survive, but I do not like it. I am not a fan of bugs and I really hate to think about how many I have ingested or slept with or who may be just waiting for me in my sandal. I do not like the heat or the humidity. Again, I do it and I survive. I take it as it comes and, pilgrim, if you do not love it, move on.
What I do love is each and every day that I live this life. I love that I can feel the earth and the sky and the weather. I can smell and taste and breathe in the very forces that make our planet a world. I live with the creatures who have been around since time immemorial. I have seen a billion stars and heard a torrential rain. I have felt the thunder down to my bones and delighted in the glory of a radiant sunrise. I am here doing this thing and it is beyond words.
I am full and sated and complete and joyous. I meet new and different people most days and we connect and chat and we share just for those moments. I am still out here, currently typing in the dark in the shadow of the Smoky Mountains. My fire is dying, as I am busy writing. It is warm and humid and loud with the sounds of nature. I can only smile.
I am humbled and grateful and joyous to be here doing this thing in this place at this time. I carry with my the family and friends I have seen so far, and those that continue to give me support and motivation. I am fit and healthy and sassy and confident. I am more ME than ever. I feel like I have arrived. I am here and I am home… wherever that may be at the moment.
If you are not feeling these things, I encourage you to dig deep. Find that place where this joy lives and do everything you can to bring it out. My way may be not your way. But, I implore you to find your way. Life it way too fucking short to not be and do and live how you want and need.
Cheers to your best life.