Cammie at the top of the Rocky Mountains in July
2009. This is the year I've been waiting for since about 10th grade of high school.
It was then that I knew no one else's plan for my life would fit me quite as well as my own--even if it meant learning some things the hard way. It was then that I began my first real sketch journal, my first exploration into the creative cosmos. I read Thoreau and Emerson and sunk deep into Transcendental thought. I dreamt of abandoning my car and the suburbs for my journal and the woods. I read SARK and plotted impossible things like driving the perimeter of the great USA in 2 weeks with $200. I was full of desperate urgency--the now-or-neverness of rash teendom. "Reality be damned!" I'd cry.
And still today, I can't seem to shake that audacious attitude. But I've gained a sort of knowing that even if I damn reality, it will still be there--with or without my permission. And I've learned that it's better to say yes to it all--to impossible dreams, ingenious problem-solving capacities, hundreds of generous & believing supporters, disgusting inequality, moments of throwing in the towel, and the way my soul knows no answer but to hold onto hope. To say yes to all of these, and then to roll the dice, play the odds, and somewhere in my heart, believe they're in our favor.
Rolling the dice of reality takes something I'm just beginning to let into my life. Something even more brash and brave than dreaming impossible dreams. Something I didn't understand as part of the shake, as the other side of Adventure's coin.
It takes permission to be Vulnerable. To sink into the raw and naked unknown...that dear state of putting your big brave heart on the line and crying your truth to the universe. (All with the hope that somehow when your confetti of dreams fall, they'll give rise to possibility just as they hit the ground.)
My dear sage Jen said to me the other day, "Even when your life feels secure, stable and well planned, it's just an illusion. Because just as fast as you can create a beautiful 5-year plan, something unexpected can come along and wash it right away. Stable people have their lives pulled out from under them every single day."
Sitting across the table, my heart crept up into a cumbersome lump in my throat, about to pound its way out in tears. I know Jen's right. And I've been oscillating between working my ass off for some sort of stability, and surrendering to the inevitable Vulnerability of life.
The path before me is clear these days. This is my year--to sink in deep, to say Yes against my fear, to let go of perfection, to create from the pit of my heart. This is the year for the Vulnerable.
I hope you join me on this ride. I'd love your company along the way.