Have you ever taken a really huge breath, the kind that fills every part of you, you hold it tight, lips sealed shut, and right when you are about to burst, you jump?
That’s what this felt like.
But instead of shutting my eyes, afraid of what comes next, I kept em wide open and watched in utter awe as the world began to glisten around me.
I had hopped on a plane to Anchorage, Alaska from NYC to visit a man I had only spent 30 face-to-face minutes with, nine-whole months earlier, about to road trip into the abyss with two other complete strangers. On the surface it sounded careless and ill advised but sometimes you just have a feeling. This was going to be better than OK, something at the other end was going to change me. My heart pounded the whole way there. I felt like I was opening a Narnia door to some new world and I would either die, or finally start to really LIVE.
I think I must have held my breath that whole first 12hours: the first embrace, the stuffed bear in the airport, getting into the car, getting to the hostel, meeting my other travel mates in the darkened backyard, the homemade wooden schvitz - it’s all a clear yet hazy memory of everything that came before. Before everything that came next.
It was that next morning when my eyes opened that something new had awakened within me. I walked outside to feel the bright sun across my face.
I closed my eyes. One long breath in, and another out.
Here I was on the other side of the door to Narnia.
It had all begun.
I walked shoeless in the grass behind the kitchen to full soak this moment in. The start of my new beginning. I was incandescent.
We piled her up, hopped in ole Luxury (pictured right) and hit the road.
There's a point you reach with uncertainty when you let everything go. I remember sitting in the back seat, before we had hit the highway. I had begun to feel nervous again, that nervousness when you jump the second time: now you know you'll make it, and the water below is cool and refreshing, and worth the jump. You still have to coax yourself into it but this time it only takes a few seconds and off you pop.
The moment I let go, this time, without looking back, was when the music came on. Corey and Nessa agreed, "we have just the album for this moment."
I watched as the scenes passed me by, trying to soak up every second. I wanted to remember this feeling of letting go fully. Of sinking into the old seat cushions, the wind flowing in and out of the cracked car windows.
As Gobbledigook began to stream through the speakers I took my shoes off, and pushed back further into the seat, settled in and ready for the long drive ahead.
When I listen to Festival from that album, I can still see it: everything laid before us, elegantly bare.
It fills me all the way to the brim, every single time. I close my eyes and take that long breath in and breath out. I can feel the chill morning air against my cheeks.
There are things in this world that are bigger than us. Just look at this view, mountains laid out, one after another. With the right perspective those very large things, towering over us, can in fact teach us something. For me, that something was that walking through that scary door, may just lead to paradise.
Trust your gut. Trust it fully.
Trust it all the way to narnia.
We drove 185miles eastward, until the highway gave way to a 90 degree turn south.
We drove to the end of the road.
I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to explain in words what this trip meant to me. It may have taken months to take root but it sparked new growth.
Napping in that hammock, bathing in a grey green rolling river, sprinting down the side of a mountain, walking up a glacier, jumping into a car with a pack of strangers.
I let go of everything that trip, everything I had been holding onto so tightly, everything that was holding me back. The edges of the box I had been shoved into, my comfort, my security, I climbed over them. I let it all go in exchange for a new start. I came out of hibernation, wounds nearly healed, ready to see what the world had next, what other doors could, maybe be lying ahead of me.