About 11 years ago I hiked Bright Angel Trail at the Grand Canyon….made it all the way down to Indian Gardens, about 4.6 miles from the rim. The trail is all switchbacks and there are only two stations for water along the way, then there's a creek at Indian Gardens you can rest your tired feet in. The hike back up was – hahaaa! – arduous, and got to a point where I'd walk a couple switchbacks and have to rest for 5 minutes, eat, drink and psyche myself up for the next round of pain. But I made it back up. I was pushed not only by the desire to prove to myself I would walk off that trail of my own volition, but that it would cost me a thousand bucks to have someone 'copter me out. No way was I going to give up. The surge of relief, pride and adrenaline overshadowed the exhaustion and pain coursing through my body (I will not waste my time talking about the inhuman beings that hiked the trail full speed TWICE just on my way down…freaking aliens visiting from Roswell is what THEY were). I developed some pretty strong leg muscles that day.
Much like that hike so many years ago, I currently feel too tired to keep walking. I have had to stay in a lot of action the last couple years and everything seems to be taking forever to resolve (again…loan modification in second application, filing bankruptcy pending approval of loan modification). Over the course of the last few months I've felt like my legs have been chained to cinder-blocks making every step I take heavy and difficult. But I have kept moving forward. Slowly and sometimes fearfully I have continued to place one foot in front of the other and taken care of business to the best of my ability.
Through most of that I experienced a "relationship" with someone. There was and still is a chasm between us that made it impossible to develop a real relationship, but the emotions I felt didn't pay any attention to that unbridgeable space. Feelings rebelliously touched down like an F5 hurricane. Against all my intellectual attempts to stay the fall I faceplanted it hard. I have not felt that way about anyone before…I craved him physically, emotionally and intellectually even though every day my head told me I was crazy, it wasn't good for me, blah, blah, blah. Every time we talked was bliss, the silence in between was agony, but there were always the hopes and daydreams to sustain my romantic heart. We attempted to "just be friends" but that was impossible for me and so we severed all ties.
I was not prepared for the flood of emotion that has overwhelmed me since then. It's hard enough to walk away from someone you deeply care about. It's much harder to be faced with the cold realization that once that facade was removed I was STILL facing all this other life turmoil, with no daydreams to fall back on, no fantasies to smooth the serrated edge of divorce, single-motherhood, financial fiasco and possible loss of home. I feel like a small part of my soul has been removed, or cut open…exposed and raw and I don't know where I'm going to draw any more strength from. I have not sobbed so deeply or often since my ex-husband and I split up two and a half years ago. I have been faced with the sobering thought that I was using my hopes for that psuedo-relationship as a pillow…to muffle the blows of all this other chaos served up in my life.
So suddenly I have become very tired. Emotionally and physically. Just too exhausted to keep moving forward. I believe in God, the power of prayer and I have a support group of friends that amazes me every day. But some days no matter how not-alone I am, it hits me that I really am going through all this stuff by myself. For the first time in my life I'm dealing with problems like a grown up, not a victimized child. There's no one to "save me," no one to share this burden. No one in my bed at night into whose arms I can fall, who will kiss the top of my head and whisper "everything's gonna be alright." Somehow, some way, I need to draw up that "arms/kiss/whisper" experience alone, between me and God. But let me tell, ya. That doesn't cut it day in and day out. Sorry. I know there's lots of spiritual folk out there who are perfectly fine with themselves and God and no one else. But this girl? There are just days I need a physical manifestation of someone loving me, feeling the weight and comfort of someone holding me. Sometimes it's an ache, sometimes it's not.
Occasionally, like the last few days, I have a severe case of the fuck-its. Other days it's just enough to know all I need to do is to get through the day ahead. But I have a sustaining hope, and that is knowing, like every uphill path, there's a point where it all levels out, and there may even be some easy moseying in the days ahead, maybe some downhill sauntering. It's just another leg on the journey. And I am never alone. I realize that. I have God, I have family, I have friends. Sometimes they carry me, sometimes they lead me, sometimes they push me…but they never stay far from me, nor I from them. Albert Schweitzer said "Impart as much as you can of your spiritual being to those who are on the road with you, and accept as something precious what comes back to you from them." I try to do that every single day. He also said "If you truly love something let it go, if it is meant to be yours it will return, if not it was never meant to be." Fucking Schweitzer.
Anyway, for the most part I'm pretty proud of how I've been able to slog through this very uphill, rocky, sometimes muddy part of the trail I call my life. Up until now I've expected myself to keep moving forward, like a machine, keep walking, keep stepping, keep moving…no matter what, don't stop. Because if I stop I might not start back up again. But last night I realized, just like on that Bright Angel Trail hike…sometimes you just can't physically keep moving on. You HAVE to sit down, rest and draw strength to stand back up and take that next footstep. I'm developing some pretty strong spiritual, mental and emotional muscles these days.