It is time for me to move on. I feel it, I know it. I knew I would. I trusted myself to know and I know it is now.
I arrived in Big Bend National Park in October of 2020. I was hired as a seasonal, temporary employee. I chose this location because I was unable to visit during my year of travel. I tried to come here during the busy time and was turned away due to lack of campsites. Well, now I know this may have been bullshit and there may have been sites. The powers that be always say they are full even when they may not be. Fuckers. Absolute bullshit. I have a better understanding now, and while it is the nature of the beast, it is still bullshit. They can do better.
Aafter hours and hours of driving that visitation attempt, I had to leave the park. I stayed in a motel in Alpine, Texas. That is the “town” where I do business such as licensing, groceries, hardware store, hair cut, and the like. I even know which motel I chose. The “camping” outside of BBNP, for a tent anyway, sucks ass. It is nothing but gravel and rocks and open spaces. Shitty for a tent and vulnerable to the elements that I have come to know so well; sun and wind and dust. This place is nothing to mess with, which is exactly why I love and appreciate her. It was not tent-friendly so I moved on.
I knew the best way to be in the places of my choosing was to get a job in that location. That was my plan, anyway, to live and work in the place that called to me with the job of my choosing. Move around and see different areas, work different jobs and explore. Two years ago my target was Big Bend.
I got my job and made my move and so on and so on. I fell in love with the desert and this place and the people in my community. I advocated to stay and got my way. Eighteen months later here I am! I have been happy and engaged and challenged. I have grown as a person and as a woman and as a member of the human race. I have lived and learned, loved and lost. I have danced like nobody was watching (even if they were) and doled out Motherly advice like I know things. I have found community and a sense of place and developed an amazement of the power and beauty of nature. Big Bend has embraced and challenged me. A piece of my heart is here.
In fact, as I write this, the power is out. A righteous storm is brewing and on its way as the temperature in my house begins to rise. I have my candles burning and charged all my electronics at the first flicker of trouble. I am sweating in my living room and listening to the winds pick up as the dark clouds descend. I pray for rain and wish for a storm. I mean, if I will be sans power, I may as well get something out of the deal.
I am choosing now to move on for a couple reasons. First, I am still mostly happy. I love my neighbors and my community. I love my access to nature and the people in Mexico who have become my friends. I relish in the dark skies and the screaming silences. However, I have become intellectually bored. I seek more challenge and growth in my work life. I seek less heat and more winter. I want to be closer to services and towns. I want to feel like I am working towards a larger goal and higher purpose. I want to grow in my vocation of choosing. I have rested and now I am restless. I am unhappy professionally, but not miserable. I am bored personally, but not yet out of control. I still enjoy a challenge, but find an hour to get my mail taxing. I said I would know and I know.
It is time.
I am not in a hurry or desperate or in a rush. I am not taking any lateral moves, only promotional. I require housing and food and solitude and nature. I want to be part of a community. I want autonomy and ownership in my work. I do not want to be in an office or behind a desk. I love my community here and the friends I have met. I want to leave while it is still good. Now is the time, when the thought of leaving brings tears to my eyes. That is how I know.
I am looking and applying (with a high degree of discretion and discernment) for promotional opportunities. Read supervisor, manager, administrator, or something along those lines. I know I still want to live and work in remote and natural settings. I love to share the out-of-doors with others, facilitating natural experiences to further educate and support all things nature and in the natural world. I dream of a population that embraces conservation, respect and protection for and of our natural areas. I want to be a part of that in this next iteration of my life.
I left conventional life three years ago and tomorrow I turn 58. Fifty Fucking Eight!!! I have spent much of this time decreasing the noise in my life so that I can hear my own voice and find my own way. I have created the life of my choosing. This life is out of want and not need. I have removed nearly all responsibility. I am now the captain of my soul. I feel empowered and clear and excited. It is time.
I do not know how long this process will take or where it will lead. I am approaching this with a sense of clarity, and not desperation; purpose and not entitlement; gratitude and not defeat. I am praying and visualizing and listening and asking. I am humbled and grateful.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the different. Oh, and God, while you are at it, watch over me as I work hard to accept your plan for me and embrace the reality you provide.
Cheers and Gratitude.