Coming off the trail yesterday, I studied my hands. Puffy with blood from having descended nearly seven miles over three hours, coated with grime, and fingernails narrow crescents of dirt, I imagined they were a child's hands. Rougher, more wrinkled, but full of possibility and capability.
What is it about spending time with family that is so comforting? Perhaps knowing that no matter what kind of person you are, they will love you? In spite of yourself, because of yourself, either way. And even with all that big wilderness, all the space we could want, we still come together to eat and talk and walk.
At night, after the campfire died out, my dad and I stood looking at the stars. The Milky Way sprawled across the sky, a hundred thousand stars shining steadily. A satellite carved a minute path overhead, and I felt small and powerful. My mom always says that being out there makes her feel so free - I think it's because you realize that nothing you do, or nothing you don't do, really affects anybody. She also told me this weekend that life is too precious to spend doing things that you don't love intensely. As I look toward what I might be doing after I graduate, it's the kind of advice I must continually keep in mind.
It's funny how I feel the need to continually analyze my life, to talk things over with my mom and with friends and try to see how I can make it better. The more I look at this coming year, the more I realize how much I'm going to need to downsize my life. Really just pare everything down to the essentials. ie: eat, sleep, dance, study. Heh. This past year has been all about getting outside myself, stretching my limits by exposing my heart to new and crazy experiences. Now I'm realizing I need to come back into my own body again, to concentrate not on how outside factors are affecting me, but on how I'm affecting things outside of myself. Also to remember what it means to actually do schoolwork. I remember one fall quarter, two years ago, I absorbed myself so much in my schoolwork that I actually got As in nearly all my classes. And it felt really, really good. Even before that, senior year of high school, I threw myself into my AP classes to score well on them. People say that senior year is for messing around - I say it's for returning to your roots and justifying what the past three years has been (we'll see how I feel about this next June).
Lately I've had a few major misunderstandings with people who have been important to me. Tried to think of ways to fix them, and am realizing that for whatever reason maybe I'm just not capable of putting any of them into action. I do recognize certain flaws in myself - mainly that I keep most people a certain distance from myself, and that the only time I throw myself into a relationship is when I know it won't tie me down. I'm sure there's more that I haven't yet discovered or been able to put into words, but well, if I knew them all what would I write about in future LJ entires? What I'm getting at anyway is that I've apologized for them, but now I think I just have to accept them as a part of who I am and deal with it when it turns people off from me.
Today I had dim sum with my grandparents and brother, and it was perfect. I've missed out on so many of those moments, and more and more I think that after school I want to come back to California and be with my family a while. It's funny, I learned to live with myself so many other places, but it isn't until I come home that I feel it really is tested. Here, where everything is familiar, it's easy to fall back into old patterns or ways of thinking. Maybe that's why I feel I have to constantly analyze myself. "Are you losing what you gained?" I ask myself, "Are you expecting yourself to be what you're not anymore?"
So to wrap this up, many epiphanies have been reached and I feel okay with a lot of things that I wasn't before, which is normal. I may feel differently in a week, but that's normal too :P I'm driving Erin down to SD this Thursday, going to meet up with Ben and all of us are going to catch some ballrooming. Then up to see Bons Friday, Half Dome Saturday, camping and driving back to LA Sunday. Then Monday I figure I'll check out LA museums while Bons works, then we'll eat and uh, drink, in the evening. Then Tuesday it's back home for me, and starting to pack. Not bad. Not bad at all.
By the way, I'm obsessed with the song "Don't Cha" by The Pussycat Dolls - who are really, really hot, by the way - even though it's rather generic. It is sooo catty, and I derive intense delight from it.