Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Where I've been

Let me explain my hiatus. After spending months looking for jobs while freelancing on the side, I decided to take a short break and find a small summer job in a magnificent place- just for the experience, since I'm young and want to travel. I decided to take a risk. Usually, I would keep plugging away trying to find a position in my career field, and I am definitely passionate about it, but I needed a change and time to refocus.

Although I usually resist change, I grow impatient from getting stuck in cycles. I crave inspiration and a better understanding of what generates great ideas and a productive work process for me. I believe that expanding my experiences gives me more to draw from, therefore making my work better.

I left for Yosemite in late May and drove across the country with some friends from highschool. We stopped in Texas for a night and continued the drive all night until we reached the Grand Canyon, then Yosemite late the next night after. I remember arriving that night and feeling so alienated from this place. It was dark and I got lost in the camp easily. I felt so new and wasn't sure how the place could become my home for the next few months. Then I woke up the next morning, stepped out of the tent, and realized I was surrounded by towering cliffs and magnificent trees. Walking toward the main part of the village, I saw the gigantic waterfall in the distance and passed wide meadows. It was a sensory overload that almost made me cry, as cheesy as it sounds.

Over these past few months, I've had a myriad of experiences, each enhancing my growth. I've seen absolutely beautiful things and met some amazing people. This place has become my temporary home. I've gotten used to storing all of my food in a bear box, accustomed to community kitchens and limited storage space. I have found the places I go in the woods when I need time alone- a favorite rock that cradles my body just right or the log beside the river which is the only place I can nap. It is a comfortable life here, but I know I must leave it soon.

I'm getting restless again. I love to travel, to see new things and meet people. I love people; I really do. I want to get to know them on a deeper level that means something. I want to love them in the most simplest and innocent way. I was discussing with one of my good friends here how interesting the divide of cultures can be, but how universal humans remain at the same time.

I feel remote from the world around me. These granite walls tower above on all sides, in the midst of them lie meadows and rivers. Sometimes it feels safe; sometimes it feels imprisoning. If I had no desire to know much of "the real world", I could go years without looking at the news and remain untroubled about whatever goes on outside of the park.

But I can't do that. I want to express and communicate and affect people's lives- even down to the minor ways I treat strangers. I've been wanting to design. I've been wanting to paint. Taking watercolors into a nearby field has its charm, but I want a studio where I can build canvases again and cover them wildly in brilliant colors. I need a place for the purpose of working, not just making money. I need a place where I can do my own work, the kind that makes me feel I am working toward my purpose, not the kind of days being repeated in a long redundant cycle.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.