Why do I always feel like I am running away from something? I never feel settled, I can’t get the “this is it?” thought out of my head. What am I missing?
Nine months ago, I dreamed about being in the place I am now. In a steady job for what I went to graduate school for, supporting myself, having roommates I get along and laugh with. But still. My bedroom in Denver doesn’t seem permanent. I’m already thinking about my next move… my next ‘home base’, my next job, my next set of friends.
Is this what solo backpacking does to you? You come home and feel like you’re settling, feel complacent like you’re a circle trying to fit yourself in a square hole. I miss the feeling of being completely on my own- the feeling of knowing that it was just me, myself and my backpack… the feeling of knowing that no one I loved really knew where I was. I didn’t have any text messages to respond to or social media posts to scan. I was on my own. I was an independent person deciding which train to hop on next.
As I sit here in the Denver airport awaiting my flight home to surprise my family for Easter, I sense the “is this it?” feeling creeping up on me again. I see children on leashes, I see tired looking people glued to their cellphones and others staring aimlessly into space. Are they living the lives they hoped for? Are they happy? Do they have the same feelings and fears as me?
I always ask my Uber drivers what they were doing when they were 25. There’s something extremely comforting about having ‘life chats’ with people that you know you will never see again… people who are perhaps craving that deep human connection that I am. Steven, the man who drove me today, beat around the bush about himself at 25 eventually summarizing his train of thought by saying “I wish I would have taken more risks.”
Maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s time for me to take another risk. Maybe I won’t feel complete again until I step outside of my comfort zone and realize- hey, you’re doing just fine, Emma.
There's never going to be a shining light that leads the way.
Fatherhood. It's pretty amazing. Being a photographer on top of it just adds to the icing.
I ride. To explore. To escape. To experience.
Unplug. Explore. Get lost.The wilderness calls.The connected digital world has become too much. How many Friends do you have? How many followers? How many photos are in your Instagram feed? Social media has become not so social. People have forgotten what true connections are, what they can be. John Muir once said, "The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."For me, no truer words have been spoken. I find that path in small bits and pieces on my regular mountain bike rides in and around Denver's Front Range. Flashes of clarity that let me forget hours of conference calls, WebEx and TSA agents. On several occasions this summer, I had entire days of that clarity. Days that are seared into my memory forever.It is like a drug. I am yearning for more connection with the earth and the mountains. That moment of being alive, truly alive, at your physical and mental limitations. The little bits get me through the week. The longer bits get me to the next adventure. The next adventure always leads to another. Finding them takes time and that's okay. The mountains are not going anywhere.
...and then one day you realize, walking in, that you have in fact just arrived.
A trip to the Denver Art Museum to explore an exhibit on Chinese Art before our trip to China!
Practicing how to use chopsticks at Kings Land Seafood Restaurant. "Xie xie" to the DCIS Foundation for all their support!
Measure life in terms of acceleration, not velocity. Momentum is everything.
Second McDonald's Fundraising Night