|denver rockies sunset - taken out of moving car at 60 mph. it's fine, i got this.|
I know people think that this should be the most spectacular experience. How lucky I am to be doing it. But they say the same thing about parenting - and sometimes parents want to punt their children out the nearest three story window. They don't, but they also shouldn't be judged for complaining about the woes of parenting. In fact, I think it's a healthy thing for people to vent and express the things that are bad versus (what we're brought up to do) and hiding all the skeletons in our closets - so to speak. Misery is a shared experience. And better coped with by expressing the bare bones behind the fancy door.
This trip is a wonderful experience, but the past few days have been difficult for me. I thought hunkering down in a motel room last night would bring me back to life both physically and mentally, and it did - at first. In fact, the 500+ miles from Cody to Denver was a relative breeze; I was enjoying my drive and making good time. Perhaps it was that I have human interaction and live music to look forward to soon, but then, as I drove through Denver, watching the sun settle down the mountains, partially obscured by clouds, I again felt as though I was chasing light. I got caught in traffic and the roads around here are bizarre - it took far longer to get the campsite than I thought but at 7:44p - exactly 8 hours from when I left Cody. I arrived at the site only to find out it was full and the next closest site was a forty minute drive (although less than 15 miles away). Again, pitching in complete darkness.
My singing stopped, I turned down the music and I just started thinking to myself this is not fun, this is not fun and questioning my decision to do this trip/journey/search and whether to go on with it at all. (Imagine Eeyore, but blonde, with boobs... and human. Woe is meee...) In taking away a moment from self pity to attend to my GPS spitting directions to my new destination at me, I heard Bob Marley playing softly in the background from my (old; song isn't even in my iPhone library) iPod I had turned down, but apparently not off, in a frustrated huff: "Don't worry about a thing cause every little thing gonna be alright. Singing don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing is gonna be alright." I took a moment to breath and let that sink in.
I have been alone traveling and not having seen a person I know for 20 days now. I haven't slept in my own bed for 28 days. I haven't had a home cooked meal. Or eaten a meal with another person (just that pie). The only hug I've had was from campsite Ron. And our conversation was the longest I've had since I left - and totally surface. Some days I've counted the number of words I've exchanged with a person and often tallies less than 50 words in the entire day. Few people ask about how I'm doing; it's weird; it's difficult. And it's finally gotten a bit lonely.
Going into this, I fully expected to get lonely, but I didn't think it would happen so suddenly and all at once. I think we really only realize how alone we are when we don't have anyone to make us feel better when we are down. And it's hard to hold a ladder and climb it too. I suppose then, that loneliness is mostly circumstantial - beyond that whole singular part. And tonight it really hit me because I thought I'd pulled myself out from under the darkening cloud last night and all it took was one full campsite to send me reeling back into the gray, sliding down an unsteady ladder.
So, like parenting, I hope this too will be an incredibly rewarding experience. But, also like parenting, its ups does not come without the balancing downs. And clinging onto the words of Bob Marley to get you through a sore shoulder from driving or a baby you can't get to stop crying is all you can do sometimes; that all the hard parts are worth it in the end. That and beautiful sunsets.