Spirit Sherpa

Ground cover, at least ankle deep, can be found close by many of the places Leah and I walk these days. She exhibits absolutely no hesitation before diving deep into the plants' unknown. I stand or attempt to keep up at the edge of these areas with my arm stretched out as far as it will go, the leash completely taut, and Leah all but hidden by the growth as she follows whatever scent her schnootz has become familiar with.

She doesn't care about what might be underneath. In fact, she's more likely wanting to stumble onto something...anything.

She loves it here.

Our apartment complex is surrounded by large, lush trees; and there are squirrels and rabbits and chipmunks running all over. We've seen deer and there is a woodchuck that lives on one side of the parking lot. The smells are probably as unreal to her as the views and waterfalls are to me.

If I'm sitting in the apartment working on my classes for too long, she sits directly in front of me and stares. If I don't make any attempt to move in the direction she would like...to grab my keys or her leash, she emits a deep guttural sound that some may mistake for a growl.

She just wants to go outside.

A few months back I wrote about my desire to be more present. I wrote how most of us have a tendency to get caught up in our memories and past mistakes, and how we countdown present moments in anticipation of future events. I mentioned how Leah is a great teacher to avoid these preoccupying thoughts because she spends her time in the moment. When we walk, she is solely invested in whatever is going on around us.

She listens. She smells. She takes it all in. She responds based on what is actually happening, not what she thinks might happen.

Leah's my spirit sherpa. She manages to pack in so many of the qualities I'm trying to achieve.

It's all a process thought right?

I mean last summer was bullshit, and there are still days (or moments within some days) that are not exactly comfortable. But not like before.

Look where I am.

Part of my accepting this internship had to do with me dealing with stuff...remnants and glimpses of my day to day less than a year ago are still hard to accept. But, I'm here. To think that I have to prove to myself that I can do something like this when most of my young adulthood was spent taking chances just like this...it's just not where I thought I would be when I turned 40. It's not who I thought I would be.

I'm probably not the first person to say that.

I'm learning though. I'm learning to accept those things I cannot change.

Anxiety changed the way I view life. I can't change last summer and I can't detach the thoughts swirling around reminding me how it felt to be so uncomfortable in my own skin...to be all but incapable of functioning day to day; but I can keep working on how I want to be.

For now, when I'm not busy with my summer courses or my internship, I'm walking and exploring the area...not completely unlike Leah.




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