Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Hump Day Harangue: Lost in Suburbia

Yesterday’s weather was so nice I had a hard time not playing hooky.  Not only should I have NOT been working, but I should never have had to work again so as not to spoil the day with the dread of it coming to an end.  One step outside and all I could think was it was a perfect day to get lost in the woods.  Except…I never get lost.  I always know where I am and where I am headed.  It would have been a great day to push my own boundaries on that though.
Tis summer break for many people, but those of us outside the education industry suffer with the unbroken thread of occupation…of our minds, our bodies, and our time.  Nice weather (which will soon give way to the hell-on-earth of summers in Kentucky) is simply a tormentor to make you resent and rail against capitalism all that much harder.  At least, it may if you still possess a will to live and your ever-loving sanity. 
Today I subjected my mountain bike to the indignity of being hauled on the back of my car (but a Jeep, so not soooo bad) for to ride at The Park of Veterans during the lunchtime hour.  Do you like my Eli Cash vernacular?  The weather today is even better than yesterday.  Makes me want to live out my anarchist fantasies and drop out of the rat race for good.  DNF.
Anywho, the rock climbing universe is reeling in astoundment from the Alex Honnold’s free solo of El Cap in Yosemite.  It’s a stretch for me to call myself a rock climber these days.  Which end is up on a carabiner?  Do you tie a figure eight or a bowman knot when you put your climbing shoes on?  I can fully appreciate Honnold’s accomplishment though.  And reading about it makes me miss climbing even more.  It’s not that I want to go out and free solo hard or long climbs.  I just miss the vertical world and feeling comfortable within it.
Getting ready to head up Edward's Crack in Vedauwoo, Wyoming
A few days ago, I was going through old photos of our time in Colorado.  And we’re planning a week-long trip there this summer.  Thinking about it all again has made me realize I miss it.  While I wasn’t much of a climber while we were there (though more than I’ve been since we moved back to Kentucky), it was a good five years.  We did a lot.  We experienced a lot.  And we lived a full life while we were there.  And missing it is easy.  Returning would be difficult now. 
Mandy and I agree that we don’t squander much when it comes to living life.  We don’t shy away from doing fun things.  We don’t choose not to do things just because they’re hard or complicated.  Moving to Colorado was an experiment.  It started out as trying to prove to ourselves that we could make it in life without the support networks we were used to.  While we didn’t accomplish that exactly, it did set us up to be more successful when we came back.  And now I feel like we’re finally in that state of mind we wanted when we left.  The real question is: could we have gotten to this place without leaving to begin with?
Recently, the Crash Test Librarian and I discussed this.  Or at least I was bemoaning to him that I miss living in the West while he replied by sending me photos of Montana.  In our conversation we agree that (to quote Mark):
“It would be pretty nice for wilderness to more or less be your ‘home’ and ‘normal’ and for civilization to just be where you go to take a break instead of the other way around.”
See, I don’t hate cities.  I truly don’t.  But being in urban areas daily for long stretches of time saps the life energy right out of me.  Some of us are just wired differently.  I’d rather go TO people when I want social interactions than have to escape FROM people when I get overwhelmed.  That would allow me to better manage my own needs.  Things I should have figured out about myself two decades ago…
Life being what it is I’m in a pretty good place.  While I hate the pants off Lexington I don’t have to spend too much time in the suburbs.  I get to sneak over to the edge of the Urban County Line to wallow in the woods at VP.  It’s not my favorite place to ride but it’s somewhere to ride. 
I keep saying I’m going to get back into climbing and keep breaking that promise to myself.  Maybe after the mountain bike race in September I can go back to keeping some of my promises to myself.

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