Let’s Be Honest…

…the only reason I’ve been able to make this transition to the Bay Area is due to the magnanimous generosity of my friend family here. I’ve recently been thinking about friendship a lot and how important it is to our human experience. Collin and I sat in Precita Park today and as I mumbled about income worries and which career path I want to pursue he turned to me and simply stated, ” well you have a place to stay and time to find a job you want and, you know, if you run out of savings we can buy your food.” MIND BLOWN by this kindness. So thanks for that Collin. And to Meg, Josh and Merwin as well for not merely being generous hosts but also for being beautiful humans in general. Please note, I don’t plan on having friends buy my groceries any time soon but the simple statement of their kindness moves me in funky awesome ways.

One of my best homegirls Stephanie arrived on Wednesday and we’ve mutually embarked on some deep, domestic pursuits. This includes a daunting search for Oakland property bearing yard space and the frequent preparation of elaborate meals for our current household. Both endeavors have been fueled by heavy consumption of red wine. Cork a bottle, drink, throw some in with onions sparkling on the stove, repeat. I want to keep doing this every night forever and once we secure the right digs Stephanie and I will be fulfilling our grandest, wine-onion dreams.

Everything is quietly falling in to place. Perhaps it isn’t on my exact timeline but as friends here keep reminding me, now is a good time to relax, practice gratitude and remain optimistic. It’s a simple formula and with the amount of sun and good times I’m having? It’s not a hard one to follow.

So this post is to primarily express my immense gratitude for friendship and to share a few pictures from hikes around Precita. More job news next week.

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Until then <3,

E.D.

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Plans Change.

Occasionally, I suffer from a condition I call the Invincibility Complex. I read too much John Krakauer, drink too much coffee, start attending real estate showings,  apply to law school, decide to become a yoga instructor, convert to raw veganism,   accept 2 new jewelry orders,  plan a trip to Costa Rica, accept a job in Spain.  I refuse to slow down. Then something monumental and completely outside of my control occurs and I’m quickly snapped back to the present. This is simultaneously scary and humbling. It reminds me that the plans I have so frantically constructed for my life are vastly different from how life actually works out.  And I have to let go.

Such is the case this week with my plans for Costa Rica. 2 days ago I had every intention of spending August immersed in tropical rainforest and scaling mountains. Then I called Brian and the grief was audible in his voice. He’d lost a loved one. They had to close the hostel and were coming back to the US before I even arrived in Central America. Across thousands of miles and a shaky Skype connection I felt deeply for him and my plans suddenly did not seem so grand.

For a fleeting moment, I tried to be stubborn. I’ll arrive in San Jose, find a hostel, and figure it out from there, I thought. I looked up beach hostels and yoga retreats but with 2 days until departure and poco dinero in my pocket I realized: I could push as hard as I wanted against the circumstances but this simply was not the right time.

The trip was sparked by a desire to check out a friend’s project. With that off the table, arriving untethered and without contacts in San Jose seemed less Jack Kerouac and more, well, foolish.

So with a heavy heart, I picked up the phone and transferred my flight to a voucher. The airline representatives were very kind and as I sorted the cancellation details out, my heavy heart began to lift along with the burden of trying to figure everything out on my own.

In the end, I am not going to Costa Rica. However, just as the universe erects obstacles, it also clears them away. I’ve spent most of the past month winding up my life in Portland and while August will not be spent how I had initially hoped, I now have the freedom to visit friends, family and landmarks along the West Coast as a final goodbye before Spain.

After talking with Brian and the loss of my own friend this summer, this seems like a really good idea.

I will climb in my Datsun and take a leisurely 3.5 week journey to Yosemite, stopping at Breitenbush, Bend, Crater Lake, the Redwood Forest and San Francisco, camping in my pickup and staying with friends along the way.

Here’s my mantra, taken from a Gary Snyder’s Kisiabaton: 

“Beat-up datsun idling in the road
shreds of fog
almost-vertical hillsides drop away
huge stumps fading into mist
soft warm rain”

I’m going to try to keep it simple. If I’ve learned anything this week it’s that my prescriptive plans are always subject to change. I’ve been brutally reminded to slow down, wayyyyy down and that as much as I try to make the universe conform to MY time, it does not work that way. Honestly, I think that humans’ power does not lie in our ability to control, but instead with our resiliency, our ability to let go and remain vulnerable in the face of change.

This will be in my thoughts, along with Brian and the beautiful friends I look forward to seeing as I drive through the rolling West Coast landscape.

More updates to come.

In Ever Loving Spirit,

E.D.

Redwood Forest

Redwood Forest