Lately, with the animal skulls and overdraft fees and other not so pretty elements of life scattered on the table, I have been feeling mildly inadequate. Inadequacy is not depression; it's not even sadness. But it does set you up to be in the position to break down at the stupidest little things. For example, the other day I was running from here or there, and I whipped open the fridge to grab a snack and BAM! The fridge door broke and all the condiments and wine bottles came crashing down on me in an almighty mess.
And dear God, the anger I felt? You would have thought Dick Cheney had been hiding amongst the shelves helping himself to my hard boiled eggs and string cheese. I was THAT angry. I was IRRATIONALLY angry. I hated EVERYONE.
And then it hit me....oh Lord....could I possibly be....I'm certainly showing symptoms of it....am I in danger of leading a LAND LOCKED LIFE? You know what I mean....the lives led by the trapped, the overprotected, the pointless, the boring and the easily frustrated, the sedated and the sedentary, the mundane routine followers, the adventure-less, the shriveled, the sun-starved, need I go on? In a nut shell, the people who can't laugh at themselves, not even a little, when the fridge barfs on them.
When I started this blog, I named it The Wilder Coast, and added as its byline: People Against Land Locked Lives. At the time, I was in no danger of mundanity (not a word, I'm making it up.) I was one of those wild girls livin' the struggle, always in dirty clothes, constantly euphoric:
But then again, it's pretty easy to live a wild, coastal life when your working somewhere like New River Academy, otherwise known as the great escape from reality. Life is one big road trip. Let me tell you it's not an easy way to live, and the exhaustion will own you, and it's full of its own bullshit, but it's in no way ordinary.
It's a little harder to have this sort of experience when your a little older, significantly poorer, outa college, post-world-kayak-adventure, living the pay-per-month life, rent checks and insurance forms and the same-daily-grind every day.
....But then, there are the adventures. Constant adventures. Why do I tend to overlook the good stuff when I write these posts? I always intend to write about them, but they keep getting shoved aside for other things, like skulls and fees, questions and emotionally hazardous frog songs. The truth is, by writing only about the struggles, I'm essentially lying to you.
Because I'm lucky.
Incredibly lucky. I get to hang out with this guy, all the time. And when you hang out with someone like this one, life is full of waterfalls and mountain tops and whitewater and things you've never done before:
Our typical day looks something like this: adventure. Dinner. Adventure. Dinner. Sometimes we throw in some variety, like a big breakfast with friends. Followed by an adventure. Followed by dinner.
Cold weather Nolichucky runs, ice in the eddies, and the long walk back on the very active rail road track. ("Remember to run across the bridge! If the train does come, lie on your stomach, don't jump, it's too rocky.")
Edging around the cliff sides of the Linville gorge and jumping off waterfalls, chasing the dog down rapids and bonfires in the front yard. Bouldering and scrambling up Table Rock and camping down in the gorge...not in a camp site but on the rocks. Next to sieves and caves. We burn campfires alongside the eddies and sleep with the salamanders.
And did I mention that he led me down the Watauga Gorge? The hardest river by far that I've ever run. There were rapids that I would run blind, then turn my neck and think....did I just run that?! REALLY?! Tight turns and huge boofs, a few portages, one swim. The Watauga gorge, one of the biggest accomplishments of my kayaking life.
Anyway, just a post to remind myself that it ain't all bad. Not really. Not at all.
(It is spring, after all.)