I live in a studio apartment.

That is not a very striking first sentence, nor is it much of a sentence at all. What can you glean from the short sentence without any prior knowledge of me?

Well the obvious assumption is that I live in a small space. It’s a studio apartment, typically they’re small. Next the assumption is I live alone. If you chose to continue you might glean I must not have a lot of stuff, I must live very minimally, I must not make very much money. Oh, and of course you can glean that at least I’m alive, with a place to live, with a job to at least pay rent every month.

So I’m guessing you want more information?

My studio apartment is in Boulder, Colorado. The studio is larger than I anticipated (yes, larger!) I don’t have much in terms of possessions at the time since I moved here with only what could fit in my Chevy Cruze. I did not move here alone. I live with my boyfriend of almost a year who packed his life into my car as well and made the journey to this place.

Miraculously with both of us in this space we have a relatively large amount of open space. I suppose that gives you a clear idea of how little we own.

I do have a job, a job that has yet to start actually. I’m less than a week away from my first day as a nanny for a local family. This will not be my first go at being a nanny. Before I moved I was a nanny for 2 young boys. Now I will be the nanny for a 3 year old boy and his 2 sisters who are 6 and 8.

You know I don’t know why I’m telling you all of this. I don’t know the purpose of this post in the slightest. I haven’t thought it through.

That’s the issue I’ve been having lately. I want to be artistic, but I find despite the time I have to do so I’m not quite sure what I want to say. I think that my perspective as a 25 year old white female graduate student studying theatre education provides nothing interesting to the world. I think that the world I live in doesn’t translate into anything beautiful or profound.

Perhaps thats my problem.

I want to be beautiful and profound……but my life is not beautiful and profound (not in the way I characterize elegant poetry, gardens of flowers, or the Grand Canyon).

Herein lies my topic. What is beautiful and profound about the life I live right now?

My life is not like the lives I read in elegant poetry nor is it anything like the feeling you get when wandering through gardens of flowers nor does it resemble the grandeur of the Grand Canyon. However, my life is something. It does exist. I do exist.

So what is beautiful? What is profound?

 

I’ll have to get back to you on that.

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Things I learned backpacking

I recently spent 6 days backpacking in Sequoia National Park/the Sierra Nevada. My intended length of this trip was 14 days that quickly dwindled into 6 when the reality of what I’d taken on had set in. There’s so much I could say, but I like to think the following list says it all.

  1. Backpacking hurts. It’s physically and mentally shattering.
  2. You learn quickly how you naturally deal with pain
  3. I’m not quite as strong as I thought I was and that’s completely all right
  4. Backpacking leads to some of the most beautiful places in the entire world (‘no pain, no gain’ seems to ring pretty true)
  5. You quickly learn what’s necessary and what isn’t – so many aspects of our lifestyles revolve around fueling desire, not necessity
  6. Humility is a natural by-product of backpacking (and it was an important reminder of how important and often forgotten humility is in our daily lives)
  7. Time is a strange human construction that we are all far too obsessed with.
  8. Whatever your plan is for your adventure, the wilderness has a plan of its own.
  9. The wilderness ALWAYS wins. You have no control.
  10. The wilderness is worth of respect from each and everyone one of us.

 

We’re all so caught up in our own constructed realities, things we’ve deemed to be important, and we’ve all forgotten the place upon which we rest and exist. I’ve never felt more human than when I was backpacking: constantly exhausted, in unimaginable pain, covered in dirt, eating food that never really tasted good, looking up constantly at the unbelievable things most people never take the time to see. We have constructed a world in which we live in, but in the end we have no control over the true reality of our surroundings. We all need to take some time outside. We all need to cultivate respect for this planet. We all need to remember what it means to be naturally, primally human.

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