There have been times in my life when I have been super unsure of myself. As we continue to grow and learn who we are we can never help but to question ourselves, our motives, why we do certain things and sometimes why we don’t take the plunge. I’ve been in crowds, literally surrounded by people and felt utterly alone. In comparison, I have found myself in moments in life where I have never felt more alive, and completely whole, for these pin-pointed moments I am usually by myself.
Returning to the USA, I have felt an opening in my heart and soul, one that has always been there, but for some reason or another, chooses to close when I put myself in certain situations and places. San Francisco has sparked that flare in me, and I am back in motion.
(I promise my blog posts will soon host more content then me raving about San Francisco and how wonderful it is, but as I say goodbye to this darling city for just a little while I had to have one last crack.)
I spent the past week playing tourist with friends from home, showing them around the city and feeding what little knowledge I have of this place to them. To say the least, it was an incredible feeling. To show your friends an area where you didn’t grow up, but an area that is none the less yours in every way.
I turn down the streets that tourists are warned not to walk down because to me, these streets are harmless and are just another way to get around. When I get stopped in the streets by tourists asking for directions, I know which way to guide them, regardless of the fact I got me and my friends lost through the outer Richmond area the other day (I’ve never really explored that area guys it wasn’t my fault!). I know that the SF weekly, (a free magazine for local SFs) comes out every Wednesday and if you don’t get in early, and by early I mean by Wednesday night, you’re not going to know whats going on in the city until the following Wednesday.
Due to this cities popular demand, I have had many friends passing through during the months I have spent in San Francisco. As a result, I have sneaked in and crashed at multiple hostels which have contributed to my reputation as an incredible personal guide to any other mutual friends passing through.
I discover more and more about myself every day here, I am challenged and I find myself pushing my usual limits. I say no to nothing, most of the time my response to a question is HELL YES!.
I have become that over enthusiast girl who is so stoked on life that it can sometimes make people take a step back thinking to themselves, I want whatever this chicks on. Once they realize what I am on is planet earth they usually realize that a natural high is the best kind of high anyway!
It is a wonderful thing, to travel. You can be who ever you want to be, no standards or obligations to live up to. Instead of worrying about whether your clothes are clean for your next day of work you mildly worry if you have a fresh pair of underwear If I find that to be my greatest concern, I cant really complain.
Traveling really puts your world in perspective, It has for me anyway. Each time I travel I feel so inspired. I learn so much, more than I ever would in a classroom, and I use what I have learned in my everyday life, which for the record is something that you don’t get from what you learn behind a desk. (I am however just generalizing, stay in school kids.)
The past few days since saying good bye to my friends as they continue on their own adventure, I decided to get back in touch with nature. The city had done me well but now its time to get back to reaching for those outdoorsy endorphins that create a whole new level of well-being inside of me.
I started with a drive up to Mt Tamalpais with a new friend, to see new heights and put my tiny self in perspective with the rest of California. Driving up the windy roads, stopping more often than not to explore the many scenic look outs along the way. When you reach the top to park your car and head out to hike up that hill you can catch tourists playing tourists, cameras clicking.
The sun was burning down on me as I found myself on top of the mountain overlooking Northern California I couldn’t help but to pinch myself. You see how insignificant you are compared to the rest of the world up here. You see how significant our Planet Earth is when you reach the top. I found myself wondering how we could do our Earth harm in any way up here. This quote rang through my ears and clogged my mind as I breathed in the California air; If people destroy something replaceable made by mankind, they are called vandals; if they destroy something irreplaceable made by God, they are called developers.-Joseph Wood Krutch.
Redwoods for days going up the hill.
When your up on a mountain you can forget about the unforgettable inhumane things society has done, that you have even been a part of yourself, you can forget, but you can also forgive yourself for partaking in them, and although in our modern day and age it can be hard to live your life without implementing at least a few of these things into your own world, you can vow to do better by earth and by yourself. To live your life in the purest way possible.
A new friend, my feet firmly on this amazing mountain, and my skin crisp from the sun burning down. I found myself happy. What a wonderful feeling that is!
The past few days I have spent babysitting the darling children I use to Au Pair for. I have spent my days making home-made organic apple sauce with apples me and James picked ourselves, and getting schooled by a 5 year old in chess. In my spare time I have been climbing the summit in Mill Valley that I use to climb all the time when I was living here. I found myself some what fitter then what I use to be, climbing up the recognizable paths I use to take to the top, I was still huffing and puffing but moving faster and prominently.
James shaking the apples out of the apple tree.
So much organic goodness!
The first day I did this I got to the top, I could see San Francisco leering from the south of me, sparkling through the mist, the water around it vibrantly pristine. I yelled into the open plain, I dont even know what I yelled, it was just sheer noise, ecstatically escaping my throat.
Today when I climbed up the mountain, I had my head phones in. I was running, seeing if I could make it without stopping (it aint easy, not for me anyway), I got to the top and again looked around, breathing in the air, there is something about the air here, as if its fresher and more luxurious to breathe in then what it is back home, my iPod had gone silent and then a song started to play. My heart was racing as I tried to catch my breath with my arms stretched out above my head. I didnt recognize the song, my iPod had been connected to my friends iTunes before I left Australia. Whatever this song was though, it was beautiful, in that moment I felt infinite. It was around 5 30pm, the sun was amongst the clouds as it had started to lower just a little in preparation for the moon to rise. The mountains around me that surrounds Marin has shadows ricocheted of them from the suns position in the sky.
Which way is left, and which way is right? Mill Valleys luxurious mountain top.
It was a beautiful moment, I had all to myself, never have I felt so completely lost and found all at once.
I have been holding onto San Francisco since I left last June, since being back, even though I parted ways with NoCal for a week or so, I have felt a hold on me here, not scared to leave, but happy to feel the comfort of what I like to think of as my home. Now I am craving more adventure, the great unknown in the midst of the end of Summers lingering heat, entering Falls seasonal color. Though to be honest, where I am going, Summer is still very much intact.
Tomorrow I leave to endure my journey. A short stop down south before venturing to the south east. I do not know what is in store for me, but I feel I will come out of this journey a lot more burnt, maybe with a few less pairs of socks, and quite astonishingly wiser. Maybe even a little less naïve. This journey has only just began.
Time to test my limits.
PS. The song that played when I arrived on the top of the mountain was Ben Harpers In the Lords Arms.
Two American summers ago, hitching through Boise, Idaho.
*For my Australian readers back home, if you ever see the word NoCal in my writing, it is what is referred to here as Northern California.