In case you’ve missed her many other mentions on this blog, I just thought I would mention her again.
My friend Janae over at You’ve Got Nae spoke several times in her blog while she traversed throughout Europe that her favorite thing to do was to get higher. Not like… as in using recreational MJ. As in actually physically getting higher. Climbing. Hiking. Doing whatever you needed to do to get as high as you could get to overlook the city she was in or the castle she was near.
Well almost 3 weeks ago, I did just that. Physically that is. More recently – figuratively. I’ll get to that. Remember when I wrote this post about my biking trip to Sausalito and back? Well this was kind of like that – a great idea on not the best diet with a general lack of hydration and nutrition.
I know I know, I’ve been sitting on this post for over two weeks. Part of it was being too busy and not in a writing mood and part of it is the need to mull things over and figure out how I can make this into a more meaningful post rather than just say, YEAH I DID THIS IN YOUR FACE EVERYONE!
Also, I’ve yet to even think about an end of year post. I’m thinking that it isn’t even necessary and this year isn’t even worth a review – it has been that bad.
Back to getting higher.
I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately. It’s effected a lot of things in my life. Personal relationships. Relationships with family and friends. Relationships with myself. My mood has been at an all time low most of the time and I’ve been having issues getting control of my thoughts and feelings. Thankfully I have some wonderful friends who are there for me in my times of need so I can vent and freak out and do what I need to do.
Well on Sunday, December 9, 2012, I wanted to go hiking. I’ve wanted to go hiking and camping for a while, but hadn’t had the time nor the motivation to go it alone. I’ve wanted to go with other people, but wanted the solitude all at the same time. I finally decided that enough was enough of the whole ‘I should do this’ and then procrastinating until it was too late to go anywhere in the woods alone. I asked a friend what the best shorter hike that was within biking distance to me was and he suggested the Berkeley Fire Trail. So I put on my hiking clothes, grabbed my shoddy pack-back bag thing, packed a water bottle and my camera and headed off on Hector. (Hector is my bike. Hector Corsaro. He’s a bit feisty but reliable).
I’m not used to biking hills. Well I am , but not a lot. I haven’t done it in a while. So getting to the trail head was interesting, but I pushed through. I was pretty surprised at my abilities but will again thank my figure skating training for my leg muscles that still haven’t completely disappeared.
There were a lot of hills before I got to the trail head. I think my biking elevation gain was 400 ft or so. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is for me and it wasn’t gradual. I got to the trail head, locked Hector to a sign and sat and caught my breath. I considered just turning back, but figured I still had a good 2 hours of sunlight and I wanted to remind myself why I moved to this beautiful state again in the first place. A feeling that has been gradually slipping through my fingers the harder that life here has gotten – but the true grit of this is for another post and another day.
Thank goodness I pushed myself. Actually, I didn’t have to. The trail was mostly flat with a slight incline with the exception of a good section of the trail which was basically straight up the hill. After a few later bits gaining the rest of the elevation I was met with an amazing view of Berkeley, Oakland, the San Francisco bay, The Golden Gate Bridge, and San Francisco itself. Had I either stayed up there an hour or so longer or started a bit later, I would have caught an amazing sunset – but again young girl, alone, woods, darkness. Not something I wanted to mess with.
The weather was perfect. Well perfect for me. The sun wasn’t too bright. Clouds in the sky. You head me. I like it when there are clouds in the sky. Cloudless days are far from my favorites. I sat down on a fallen tree and just enjoyed being outside in the fresh air. There were a few points along the trail where I thought that was it. That was the end. I saw no other trail heading further up the hill. Eventually I found what I was looking for – a way up – and I listened to Janae. I got higher.
Recently, I’ve decided to apply that strategy to other things, too. Things you can’t physically climb, but road blocks in life. Getting a higher perspective if you will. Seeing above and beyond the immediate issue or event and getting a better idea of how to approach or handle what was thrown at me and what the future would hold based on any conclusions drawn.
I guess I should give some examples because right now I am merely rambling.
Starting small, we can talk about dating. I’ve let go of the idea of catering to my personal needs and desires and how I should be treated. I’ve let go of thinking that I need to be a priority and that I need to be happy before I meet someone and that I can’t rely on them to MAKE me happy. I met someone in September who was wonderful. And nowhere near my type – in a good way (he was a vegetarian! GASP! I know! BACON!). I let myself lose sight of things that were important to me – mainly communication. I tried to hold off my feelings for a month or so, knowing that I have the issue of falling too hard too soon without realizing what is good for me and what isn’t.
I was successful for the most part. But then other things wore me down and I stopped looking at the big picture and just focused on the small stuff – the stuff that made me unhappy and how being near him made me happy and reversed those feelings no matter how terribly I was doing that day. Instead of looking at things that happened constructively, I let my depression and emotions take it destructively and let the presence of someone else fix my feelings. I’m not going to go into details of our relationship and what happened, but communication was lacking and it wasn’t something I was particularly happy with. I finally stood my ground with someone – which I must give myself credit for because I never do this, but in the end it all comes down to that one less that I learned from a book and a star filled rom-com:
He’s just not that into you.
Moving on to the bigger things.
I am a big fan of believing that things happen for a reason. Not that I can just do nothing and then things will happen the way they should, but more like… I can try to make something work, but in the end if might not and if it doesn’t, it wasn’t meant to be.
A little over a year ago, almost a year and a half ago, I talked about moving out of Washington, DC. It not being the best for me and me wanting to leave it behind and make my way to San Francisco. I did just that and here I am. Things worked out. I got a job almost right away and made my way here. I fought to stay despite being homeless. 9 months later, I lost my job.
It was a push to get out of an office that I wasn’t particularly fond of. I knew this would be the break I needed to move in the right direction. Over the last 6 months, I’ve fought. I’ve fought to make my way through job applications and try and get interviews. Tried to figure out who I want to be and what I want to do, and here I am. Working 3 part time jobs and struggling. Lately I haven’t been looking at the big picture. I’ve been focusing on the smaller things. The things that make me angry and upset and depressed. The interviews I didn’t get, the jobs I never heard back from, the connections that haven’t worked out.
Maybe the big picture is that San Francisco and the bay area just isn’t for me. I’ve been feeling this way for a bit now. I mean, San Francisco was never a destination I considered high in priority before last year. I’m still feeling a pull for Boston and Seattle, but have added NYC and Europe to the list. With the push of a friend a few months ago, I’ve pushed myself to submit graduate school applications. To really think about where it is I want to be and what I want to be doing – what I really care about.
Looking at the big picture of everything that has been happening; getting higher than the ground level problems – being overworked, exhausted, broke has brought me to several realizations recently.
San Francisco isn’t my final destination. It hasn’t provided me what I need to be happy. Not because I haven’t tried, but because it’s just not where I need to be any longer. I love people that I’ve met here and things I’ve done. The city is beautiful and amazing, but its not for me. It’s not the atmosphere that I need. It’s a great in between place for me. I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I want from people. As the new year approaches, I’m looking above the road, above the clouds and into the infinite space that is my future. Who knows what is going to happen. I just know that all of the things that have happened this year are to make me stronger. To make me more responsible and to learn to see and approach things differently. Where one door closes, another opens. An exit is always just an entrance to somewhere else.
The day that guy mentioned before left, I got a message from someone I wrote off 2 weeks prior who I met randomly at a work event.
Things happen. The world keeps turning. Time won’t stand still.
I just need to get higher.