I have decided to share more of myself on this blog. I haven’t been writing as openly and as raw as I have wanted. I suppose this has been due to fear, but I don’t have that anymore. My desire to write as much as I can has been re-awoken, and there is more to me to share than vegan recipes and what I eat daily. Veganism has impacted my life and has forever changed me, so my passion for this lifestyle and spreading health and love has not changed, and will always be mentioned in my future posts.
What has changed is my desire to be authentically me.
With that being said, I learned something about myself today. There is an extreme duality to my womanly being, to the very core of what I want to be and who I am. I have been bothered all week with questions of if I want to stay in Long Beach after our lease is up. I don’t love it here. I am happy and grateful for all that I have, but there is something missing I can’t quite translate.
I thought I knew what I wanted when I moved here and what I wanted was the perfectly penciled fantasy I had etched in my mind. I wanted the sunshine, glittering beaches, my feet always bare. I imagined myself bikini clad, tanned skin, a mango in hand with the juice dripped down my chin as I smiled, the warm sand beneath me. This image propelled me from my stagnant hometown and thrust me right into the thick of the California rays. Yes, there are beaches and yes, there is lots and lots of sunshine, but there is also crowds and traffic and bright lights and a constant hum that eradicates any and all silence.
I didn’t realize how long I had gone without silence until my boyfriend and I took a trip to the mountains to visit our friend. On the climb up, my ears were popping and I opened the window for some air. It was night time and I could see the stars, clear and yellow against the black sky. The wind was cool and fresh, the crispest air I had ever breathed. My eyes filled with tears because I thought of home. And then I thought of the air I had been breathing for the past 3 months. City air. Populated air.
Later that night, when we went to bed, my ears rang from the stillness of the room, the complete lack of sound. I welcomed the high-pitched hum as I laid my head against my pillow and drifted into thought. Nothing in my way. It was comforting.
The next day we went for a hike. A real hike as we called it, with steep inclines, sharp rocks and altitude change weighing heavy on our chests. I heard birds sing, felt tree bark beneath my fingertips and the crunch of the earth under my feet. I felt calm for the first time in weeks. I guess I had been longing for this solidarity, a place to call home with only the trees and the mountains as neighbors.
At one point, we came across a fell tree, bigger than any I had ever seen. It stretched across the trail and beyond. I felt sad that the tree had died, but amazed at its power, even in death. I have always been taken by trees. To me the are the most confident beings of nature. As we continued on, I placed my hand on its massive trunk, hoping to feel something within it, like it could speak to me somehow. I wanted it to tell me something.
I am convinced that nature will save me somehow, that my very soul’s only desire is to go back to where it once was formed. Why is it that I feel the most at peace with myself, the quietest and calm when I am within it? I’ve never been awed by anything like I am with the vastness of a mountain range, the tallness of the trees, the force yet calmness of the ocean.
I have realized that I am a complex creature. I want things that don’t blend together. I came to California for lots of reasons, but a huge one was the access to fresh fruits, vegetables and vegan food that I didn’t have year round in Massachusetts. But the dirtiness and crowds that come with popularized places, is something I didn’t account for. I love my family and the concept of home, but I want to see everything this beautiful world has to offer. Sometimes I long for seclusion and other times I feel I am supposed to inspire and connect with any many people as I can.
I’m confused. Maybe even crazy. Who knows.
I don’t want to sound like I am complaining about my life because I have everything I need and more than I could want. I am happy. I am proud I was brave enough to make a much-needed change in my life. I am grateful to have created a platform to discuss the importance of veganism and that my new life in California has allowed this lifestyle to be easier for me.
But getting away and feeling the gentle sting of silence and the sharp bite of clean air reminded me of where I am happiest and where I need to be again, and again and again.