Monday, October 24, 2011

Where Travel and Loss Will Lead You

Traveling so many miles, you're bound to lose things...

Your mind, your comfort, your stability, your prisons, your sense of self, your phone charger 1 million times.

This is why I urge you to travel.

Traveling invites loss. Loss invites you to be achingly alert. When your eyes and heart are wide open, despite what they see, there's a way that you're liberated from the anxiety of occupying more than one space at a time.

I invite you to lose it all.

Lose the words you don't have the time to write. Lose your favorite ring you don't have the wits to turn back for.

Lose your temper. Then really lose it. Then lose it so often that you stop looking for it and you just chill out, turn toward laughter, start calling your lover nonsensical nick names that make you both giggle like 7 year olds.

Lose hope. Rub so hard on that tattoo you've marked to your ring finger that you make a rash. Go to the wits end of your faith and fearlessness until you begin to learn that those qualities derive from hitting the bottom and surviving. Sweat and tears, and then more sweat and more tears.

Lose your cool. Lose your shame. Lose your self-awareness in public places. Be too loud for the timid small-town diner. Order pie at 9 am. Moan. Excessively.

Lose yourself completely.

I promise--you will have regrets and you will be wiser for each one.

Lose weight. Lose options. Have 3 outfits and 3 pairs of panties that you wash in the sink when you're lucky enough to remember. Lose your sex appeal.

Lose money. Tip too much to the woman who gave poor service. Get haggled by the homeless man and drop him a big fat 20. Lose your so-called standards.

Lose your future investments. Lose your illusion of security. Lose your maybe-one-day dreams and just do it already.

Lose your map and your perfectly calculated directions. Lose your battery life. Have nothing left to do but flag down a stranger and ask for help, stick your thumb out, become human again.

Lose your vanity. Lose your make up, your razor, your deodorant, your hair products. Take a scary-as-fuck picture of yourself and post it on Instagram for all the world to see.

Mostly, lose what you grasp the tightest... Your safety, your soul, your sense of purpose, your image.

Lose it for just a month, a few days, an afternoon in mystery walking down the block. But lose it wholly, with no reservations.

When it's all said and done, you won't feel "found", per se. Rather, you'll feel as though you've arrived carrying only what's truly needed in your bags. Nothing more, nothing less. And it will be strange and vulnerable and magical.

You will know that the sweat and tears and suffocating bike shorts were your uniform of sacrifice. You had your protests, and rightly so, but that uniform brought you to the boundaries of your dark territories, the terrors of life you never wanted to see, the edges of your strength and also your humility, your meek existence in this glorious, overwhelming world that you absolutely needed to travel in.

You will lose a handful of illusions in this sea of loss. The greatest of which being that things last forever. No. You will see clearly that everything eventually surrenders.

One day, you will not only understand, but accept, this jewel of truth. Perhaps the deepest truth you could ever grasp.

Until then, you will continue to travel, to lose things, to wander at the crossroads of terror and letting go into love.


lhrejsa said...

This is a wonderful comment on life and the journey you've taken, thanks for sharing.

GailNHB said...

What a powerful invitation to travel - inner and outer travel. What a great perspective on how to make the most of some of the greatest challenges about travel, how to learn every step of the way, and how to grow as well.

Thank you for your honesty and your vulnerability.

Peace be with you - wherever you find yourself these days.

Julie said...

Brilliant words, you wise woman.

Nicole said...

Hi, it would be neat if you Made this into a poster and then gave it to everyone who you come in contact with during the upcoming holidays....including everyone that you are exchanging gifts with.

This is post is priceless. Well written and so multifaceted. I thought that this was about you convincing people to travel but it encompasses so much more. I'm glad I read it.

The Madlab Post

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful, and true, post. I recently went on a journey of my own without actually leaving my house. I would have preferred to see the world in the process, but life has it's own plans for us, sometimes (in fact I was supposed to be overseas in Africa with the Peace corps right now, but that is part of what I lost). The topic of losing it all resonates with me, because essentially I lost everything along with my health.. my safety, soul, sense of purpose and image. I have never felt so out of control and terrified and angry and hurt, and yet I am more me than I ever was before I lost the labels I had defined myself by, the labels and self-imposed images that I boxed myself in with. I actually started reading this blog around the time I started my journey and wanted to let you know how inspiring it has been some days. Congratulations on your journey and hopefully my next journey will involve traveling! Haha