Ellen Carney, the Director of Youth Programs at the Happy Kids Center, wrote me a Facebook message a few days ago. “Are you happy?” She asked.
I stared at the screen, digesting the question. Swirling it around in my head, letting the urge to intellectualize the question and answer immediately settle down. I let the feelings arise and after settling into the feelings, I answered.
“GOOD QUESTION. There are tough moments for sure, but it really is freedom. Every night that Jeremy and I set up camp we make it into a little home with a kitchen and the “house” and all our stuff spread around and it really makes you feel like you are home everywhere. You become less scared of the world and feel more apart of everything that surrounds you.
That being said, in the tough moments– cycling up hill at a 10% gradient at the end of a very long and hot day, I question why the f*** I’m doing this and a really ugly voice comes out that fills me with a frustration directed at nowhere. But I think the point of a trip like this is to allow that voice to rise, to get to know it, acknowledge it and then let it go. All the pent up anger and frustration that I feel rises from the same point, and at this time in my life, the feeling takes control. However, it doesn’t always have to be that way. Making space and taking time to observe it separates it from ME and just leaves it as just a feeling.
In general, being outside all day every day, cooking my own food, watching the sky change color and spending an hour every night looking at the constellations, has been a huge blessing and a means for me to slow down and really become a part of my surroundings. Whether I was on a bicycle or just walking, or sitting at camp, being outside this much is the most healing thing in the world for me. So, it is a journey, and it is not always pleasant, but it is clearing the algae of the soul away, its letting me slow down, and its DEFINITELY showing me to myself. I think that is happiness and wealth. Having the great privilege of time, and space, nature and healing is a sort of wealth. Going through trials and tribulations and overcoming them, is happiness.”
featured photo by Jeremy John