This beautiful scene is just steps from my beautiful cabin in the Mt Hood National forest. Or should I say former cabin. It is currently for sale, after a year and a half of living a busy life in Austin, a place I never thought I'd return to, but always seem to return to. I had frequently thought of selling the cabin and went back and forth over it in my mind every time I would visit, or go on a trip, or be in it for an extended time and realize how nutty I felt in a rural area. Now that I've been away from it I look back fondly on the 3.5 years I lived in it full time and my whole 6 years in Oregon. I've just returned from emptying the cabin and it sits for sale...my heart felt utterly broken as I was leaving it, piling up Fergus' toys and bedding and carting them off to goodwill...selling bits of furniture and snow tires, having a blast with my friends on the mountain. I felt like I was ripping my heart out, like I was participating in a pattern I seem to have to reenact every few years by having something I love taken from me..always in the past by a man, this time by tearing myself away from something beautiful and safe and wonderful that I created: a beautiful little home, and and a warm and loving community that held me lovingly in it's arms. Why would I do this to myself? Do I not believe that deserve to have comfortable and lovely things? Is safety and security so alien and terrifying to me that I have to run from it every time if presents itself? Is my idea and safety and security utterly different from everyone elses? Some or all of that might be slightly true, but it is not the whole story. I could have kept it and just visited it now and then, but it was costing my a lot of money and I was not allowed to rent it out via park rules. I was underemployed the whole time I lived on there, was over an hour's drive to an airport, and drove 50 miles every day round trip to do yoga - which I sort of turned into a job. In Austin I have been working almost the entire time I've been here. I have a new bestie who I look forward to hanging out with on the weekends and seeing great films with and having lots of laughs. I am around smart people and belong to a film society and have several fun volunteer gigs. I have a quick 20 minute uber ride to the airport, and have lots of friends to have meals with. Life is good here. I have always been very restless and easily bored, and there is always something to do here that is a short walk or very short drive to go to. Everything I yearned for on the mountain I have here in abundance. I have been single a long time and don't date anymore, so have literally no drama at all in my life. There are some very dark and horrible things in my psyche that still will wreak havoc in my life in the form of hellish all nighters verging into psychosis and colored by feelings of hopelessness and utter abandonment. It doesn't happen very often anymore, but at least I can say that it is not buried. Wow! That sounds so fucked up! And listing these things I do sounds really simplistic and shallow...okay I get it, I do lots of stuff, but it sometimes feels like it's just entertainment til it's time for my dirt nap.
Since I am writing this story I can write it however I want and I choose to spin it more to my advantage. I'm tired of seeing myself as a victim of my own self-sabatoge - but I know I tend to get rid of things quickly that are beautiful, that I love, or that bring me comfort and joy...there is such a dark mistrust of these things that I have not overcome yet. But at the same time I have no worries or hardships in my life..I work around my travel schedule. I look really good for my age. I LOVE getting older...what an incredible journey aging is...all the things I get to shed that don't serve me anymore. And travel, my biggest childhood dream, is mine whenever I want it.
The thing on the mountain that brought me the most joy I still have: my little tight knit community of friends there. There are always so happy to see me and love me so much. They will do anything for me - they are the loving family that I always wanted. And I can go visit them any time I want. And then there is the name I haven't spoken...the name of the greatest love of my life...the place, the faraway place where my life had more meaning and purpose and joy than I could have imagine existed. If I could wick up that girl again...the one who had everything in front of her, and who was already 43 when the big magic happened. I'm only 57 and not ready for the surprises to be over...I need a third act and I want to be as unconventional as I feel it needs to be.