Movement & Location
In my short time on this earth I have discovered there are two important ideas I keep close to my heart these days. One, I need to keep moving. Two, I need to know where I am and where I am headed to next. Those of you who have spent any time with me in the last 10 years have seen evidence of this first hand. It wasn’t always this way. In my early twenties if there was party, I was there. If there was joke, I wanted to tell it. If there was spotlight, I wanted to be in it. The constant chase for approval and the eagerness to impress left me wilted and un-nourished. I believe that is when I started looking inward. Asking why is scary thing, but at some point we all take that glance in the mirror. Willingly or not, life has a way of getting our attention even when we do not want to give it. I remember my moment. I was walking in downtown Portland headed to the next bar of the night and I caught my reflection on the glass of a building I had rushed passed on many nights before chasing happy hours and chasing friends. What caught my eye was someone who was not content, someone exhausted of pretending. Someone who defined happiness by the stuff he had and the status he received from others. Needless to say that moment haunted me with confusion for some time. After that moment I spent time asking myself some one tough question. Why? I think “Why” is a tough questions because the honesty that it requires to fully answer it can seem overwhelming, and goes against everything society tells to do. Till this day I have moments like that still and believe that I will continue to change directions as I gain experience and learn from these honest moments of reflection.
These days I really enjoy embracing the quiet. Solitude is something that has grown on me and I feel it empowers me to have a more humble approach at life. You’re more likely to find me alone on a trail or wetting a line in the nearest river than navagating through the chaos of the city. Nature has become what fills my heart more than any $2 pint night ever did. The city no longer appeals to me and my community looks a lot different than it use to. It’s also a lot smaller but that has been a concious decision. I’ve concluded that in my life relationships are about quality not quantity. For example, I have about 10 contacts in my phone and I reach out to them weekly if not more. Why? Well, it’s simple really. It is because I think that caring for people should mean you invest your time in them. After all, time is worth more these days so why not invest in something where you will get immediate returns. I can’t tell how much I have learned from these folks that have invested in me and I in them. It is truly, pure gold. This along with the goal of living a more simple life has increased my focus on the things that matter to me. I am no longer chasing the attention I once did nor am I interested in keeping with the Joneses and seeing how far I can advance my status in life. I am more interested in understanding where I came from.
I started to wonder where this change was birthed. Was it my own doing or was there some predetermined path that was set out for me, that laid dormant until the timing was right. I think it was a little of both. As many of you know in late April I lost my father to cancer. I have been spending more and more time remembering his character and trying to understand his investment in my life. Some of my earliest memories of my father are camping in eastern Washington and Oregon. Fishing along lakes and rivers, talking and sharing of his love of nature with me. My father never lost that romanticism for the outdoors. He also enjoyed a very simple life where people mattered to him more than things or status. In a way I think he built a foundation as most parents do that latter in life I am traveling back to. I heard someone say to me once, “It is important to know where you came from in order to know where you are going.” Those words have never been more true than now. As I start to heal from what has been the hardest year of my life, I am starting to understand more of where I came from. I am starting to make changes that will not only impact myself but my future family and shape my community. It’s less about cutting things out and more about putting the right things in. Life is too short to chase status or acceptance. Learn to love yourself and your passions and the right people will be there. I am true beliver that you should never let one thing define you. Not your job, not your family, not your money, not your hobbies, not your church, not your friends or not even your location. Our stories are much more complex and meaningful for it to boil down to one thing. For me that is the fuel. To write my own story. Fear is what slows me down but it is also what gives me the moments to learn how to be resilient. I am very lucky to have this opportunity to slow things down a bit, simplify, learn about where I have come from, check my coordinates and keep the journey moving forward. Movement and location.