June 21, 2019
I reached Arches National Park in Moab, UT after having spent the morning posting updates and driving down South completely lost, or better, absorbed in my thoughts. I received another message from a friend yesterday, thanking me for posting pictures and showing parts of the world she lives in and that she had to add to her bucket list. It really warms my heart to read words from people that find some relief or some inspiration from what I do. I am not the best photographer, nor the best writer, I am simply reporting what I am doing, in case someone may need it, while I need it too to let it out, or it may clog my synapses.
What I am seeing is exquisite which, by given definition, means extremely beautiful and typically delicate. The red soil is already a big attraction to my eyes and my personal taste. All the colors in the darker shades of red, yellow, orange, green, brown have both an energizing and soothing effect on my emotional sphere and I can’t help but enjoy the moment, sometimes without even documenting it on social media if not after a while, and after I unfortunately forgot all the reasoning and mind-blowing thoughts I had while being present in that very moment.
Apart from showing pictures of what I see in front of me, I feel the urge to write also about what is or was going through my mind while experiencing these beauties of nature to honor the effect it has on me and represent. Who knows if this may be of help for someone out there trying to find some answers as well. I “almost” got lost while hiking down the Primitive Trail through the Devil’s Garden in the Arches National Park. I don’t really feel much ashamed about it, because the trail was not clear in its very last part and most of all, it included some rock climbing and steep areas. So what? Well, since that day back in August last year when, while hiking up the Angeles Forest, I panicked and had to go back because of a very narrow part of a trail on a cliff that made my eyes roll back and I saw black, I am now scared. I learned that to me it is so easy to walk up steep areas, but going down is hard. Mentally. I am deadly scared of falling, sliding, not having a grip or something to hold on to in case I feel unstable. My clumsiness is probably one of those sides of myself I hate the most in these moments. Being ungraceful and uncoordinated is not exactly the best description you would give of a person, and it most likely leads to mockery or simply fun jokes, referring to how awkward I may or may not look.
Long story short, after trying to climb all the way up because I saw people who actually reached the top of those reeaally high geological formations, I look around and I hesitate. I feel my legs shaking and I falter a little. I think “here it goes, my fear of death, of falling and dying alone” and I immediately go back to that day in Los Angeles, hiking back down with a sense of disappointment and frustration. This time though, I feel ok. I am confident enough to know I have my limits, I can’t keep doing things just because of my stubbornness: if I feel threatened by it, then I have to leave it. So I did. I turned around, went down using all my four “paws” to have a better grasp on rocks and bushes and got back to the trail. What’s funny is that I noticed that reaching that hard spot, I was also thinking of unwelcoming thoughts, those kinds of food you feed your mind either when you’re tired or when memories are interfering. I guess in my case it was both mixed up together to create an unhealthy potion that led to my feeling of uncertainty, being unstable on my own two legs not trusting my balance.
I still think of when, while in Seattle, I spoke to my friend Jordan and realized how I find myself similar to other people, both from a behavioral point of view and life experiences, family background and all, and the “tactics” we learned to use to cope with what we earned from these life events. I can’t help but sing in my head “when this began, I had nothing to say and I got lost in the nothingness inside of me, and I let it all out to find that I’m not the only person with these things in mind, but all the vacancy the words revealed is the only real thing that I got left to feel…” which is exactly what I’ve been clinging to since probably the second year of high school. When I talk about the importance of music in my life, how fundamental it was to get me through life, up to this moment, some people laugh. If only they knew. Anyway, this to say that once again I had to face the truth and accept that I am not special and that many before, with, and after me will be like me. Similar to a point that, for whatever reason, we find each other in the world. We are like magnets and we end up finding those who can see where we are coming from. How it happens, I wonder. I guess there must be an actual bigger picture we are not fully aware of, but I am sure I won’t let it build up inside of me like it did before. I am here searching for something, and one way or another I will find it.