Hi River. It’s me, Angela, again. That girl who’s not too sure what to make of you.
I’m coming to grips with something… You are so unpredictable. I can’t control you. I can’t even be in denial that I can control you. Hours obsessing on perfecting a textbook roll. My mind says if I can master a roll, I can start to master you. But it’s a lie, isn’t it? And you won’t let me believe in lies for long. It pisses me off! But I respect you for making me face all these truths.
Some people think you’re fun. Yay for them. Yes, there have been moments of carefree play from me – some this past weekend. And I’m sure there will be more. But I crave something deeper than fun. I crave growth and self discovery and some peace from this restlessness I’ve had my entire life.
In my mind, I imagined my path of growth would be easy. A lot of glorious ah-ha moments as I sit and watch the sun rise or set… But we both know this is another lie. At least up to this point, my growth has been pretty f-ing painful. Because I’m stubborn and like to fight reality, you say? Because I am still clinging to the this or that, here or there, black or white perfectionist thinking, you say? Because I need to learn the hard way. I know. I’m working on it.
River – here is what you taught me this past weekend. I am grateful, for you, but I’m still not sure if we are buddy buddy just yet.
Resigning from COO of the Universe
It is time for me to give up searching for certainty and control in an uncertain world. You are not black, nor are you white. You are an ever changing dynamic of greys, just like the real world. Shame on me for thinking I can control and dictate anything other than myself.
But you know why I try, don’t you? Of course you do. You told me yourself. I lack trust. Trust in my abilities. Trust in others. Trust that everything is as it should be. Trust that I’ll be just fine.
How can I trust when deep down I think I am the acting COO of the universe, right? It’s all depends on me. I am ultimately responsible for everything. It’s all my fault. It will go wrong unless I “do” something. Well, my mind thinks this. Silly mind… So, as of today I will resign and let the universe go back to orchestrating it’s magnificent self without my say so… It is a relief to rid myself of that burden…
Healthy Respect vs. Being Small
Power is everything. You have it. But I have it too. And to respect you doesn’t mean I need to cower or play small. I can be magnificent and you can be magnificent and together we can play nice, or you can still kick my ass. But just because I can’t overpower you, doesn’t mean I have no power on you. You do not need, nor do you request a sacrifice of power on my part. Being afraid… feeding fear is not a token of respect, I realize. Going forward, I will practice bringing my best and most capable self to your current. No more playing small. What you do about it is up to you (because I’m no longer COO of the universe)…
Thank you again for the great weekend and your truth, even if I don’t want to hear it.
Gratitude on the Upper Nanty
The Upper Nanty has always treated me well. And although I looked like a deer in headlights on the bus, this past weekend was no exception. Here are a few of the many people and moments that warmed my heart and meant more to me than I can ever express in words alone.
Brian, for working your instructional magic, telling me exactly what I needed to do to sail through Trolls Hole and PB&J, scoring bonus points for pulling me free from a couple of rocks while hand paddling, no less, only to have me bump you into the top hole at the falls and just laugh about it. Chivalry is not dead. Thank you dearly for supporting me in whatever I do or don’t want to run – no questions asked, and for laughing at my speed-demon kayaking skills.
Dwight, for reminding me to focus regularly on our group so I stop obsessing about my own paddling drama – letting the automatic be automatic, reminding me to keep my boat pointed down stream and drive over the rocks after getting pinned twice, for not giving me an opening to freak out after getting stuck the second time, and pushing me out of my social comfort zone with dares to talk to the biscuit guy. Love it. Sorry about spilling the beer on you… kinda.
Brian G, for keeping it lighthearted with ice water splashes, threatening to pop skirts, flip me over and open drain plugs. I respect what you’ve had to face to paddle and am glad I was there to help in some small way on the Pigeon.
Jennifer, for being a general bad-ass and sharing a snickers bar with me while I was freezing on the lower Nanty. I hope some of your comfort with the uncomfortable rubs off on me.
Raft dude, for being there at the right place and the right time and lifting the nose of my boat over that pesky rock, and telling my animal brain what you were going to do with zen like simplicity.
Eddie B, for being provocatively funny yet undeniably wholesome, and caring wholeheartedly about your friends, willing to make such a huge effort so that we could all gather and share in each other’s company. Great speech too!
Pete, for giving me shit, guaranteed, talking bikes, and being a master chef. I would have starved without you – or at least spent a lot more at River’s End. And thanks for the koozies.