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Following The Call:

Following The Call

Some thoughts about hitting the road


The first time I ran away from home I was five years old. My mom had the audacity to tell me to clean up a mess I had made so in a fit of asserting my kindergarten level of independence, I announced I was running away. I packed up a little bag of mostly underwear for in my little girl mind that was most important to take on my venture of escape.

I walked to my friend's Tracy's house which was perhaps a block away, but it was the furthest I had ever walked on my own.

When Tracy's mom opened the door I was crying and announced through my tears, "I'm running away from home."

She welcomed me in with motherly care and soon I was happily playing with Tracy having forgotten all about running away. Some time later my mom appeared to take me home. I was both astonished (how did she find me?) and yet also relieved for I did not imagine myself living with Tracy and I had not yet worked out what my next move was going to be.

I ran away again when I was 11, this time trekking across the desert from my family's Las Vegas home. I had a duffel bag slung over my shoulder and wore one of my dad's oversized green fatigue military jackets. A boy came along through the desert riding his bike. He skidded to a stop when he came up on me and asked, "Where are you going? Are you running away from home?"

Was I that obvious?

"You need to go back home and not be out here," he advised. "Where you gonna sleep? How are you gonna eat and take care of yourself?"

I suddenly felt overwhelmed with embarrassment at the foolishness of trudging through the dirt with no idea of where I was going or how I would survive. With grateful reluctance, I turned around and went back home, a quiet return as I had slipped out with no one in my household aware that I had packed up to run off.

In high school a friend asked me to run away with her. She wanted to go to Los Angeles which was many hours away from Las Vegas. She was a street smart orphan who had been in and out of foster homes her entire life. "You need to bring a knife," she told me. "Are you gonna be ok using a knife if someone messes with us?"

Huh? Use a knife? Stab someone if needed ?

"No, I'm out," I said. I was definitely not down with running away into a situation that could involve the need for defense from violence.

That was a good decision. She did run away and I don't really know what happened to her, but I ran into her a few years later at a hospital where I was taking a friend for emergency care. She was high as a kite and seemed pretty broken.

Another friend, a year later, also asked me to run away with her. I think I attracted runners because I, in my own way, was already running from home and my life as fast as I could any way that I could. I was rarely home and ran around the streets of my neighborhood in the northwest part of the Vegas valley. I had an abusive dad I was avoiding and my homelife was lonely and at times very unsafe. I avoided home as much as possible. The older I got, the more absent I became.

I'm thinking about this alot these days because of wanderlust. Ever since my travels to Scotland last spring I have had a deep activation of travel fever, not just to explore Europe more, but to especially hit the road and explore America from her highways and byways. I find myself assessing myself if it's adventure and exploration I'm after or am I regressing into adolescent runaway energy? Is there something about my life I am wanting to avoid?

I also find myself taking another look at my running tendencies from my youth. Maybe it was not just a difficult home life that fueled me to run off. Maybe I have an inherent nature to Be on the Move and See as Much of the World as I Can. As a mature woman I have observed that going to new environments and meeting new people from different kinds of backgrounds and cultures is highly informative and expansive. I engage easily with people from all walks of life. My best moments during my three weeks in Scotland and York were not sight seeing old castles and the gorgeous Highlands; my best moments were encounters with the people I met and the conversations I had.

"Notice what you notice," says Brenda Rebecca Bryan whom I just worked with for the last several weeks to help guide me into more clarity for next steps for my creative path. I am noticing a great deal of preoccupation with travel. I am daydreaming about Spain next spring and road tripping through the Midwest and the South next summer which is straight up ludicrous since I ought to stay home and work the summer markets.

But I recognize this kind of preoccupation, the kind that has a relentless pulse like a lighthouse beacon on a dark ocean shore. It feels like I am being called to travel more, not for the sake of pleasure though there is much enjoyment in travel, but rather for the sake of letting loose the magic I possess beyond the zip code in which I live.

I am feeling pulled to Go and Shine my light to new places and spaces.

It has been my observation and experience that to follow a call usually involves reckless decisions that defy logic. I love logic. Logic serves my life very well in all the ways.... except when it comes to making leaps of faith. Logic will do her best to talk me out of it. Logic will undermine vision and creative risk taking. Logic will keep me safe and sound and comfy on the sofa watching Netflix. Logic keeps me domesticated.

Faith, on the other hand, she is a wild one. She inspires me to take chances, to throw caution to the winds that are gusting up around me and to Allow the Unfolding of the story rather than let logic shut it down. Faith flings open the doors and says, "Let's do it."

This is what preoccupies my dirty redheaded mind these days.

I don't think it's runner energy that is pulling at me. I do not think I am in avoidance. I believe it is Life Source rivering through me and the flow is leading me to Go and Be in new places and spaces.

I have a lot of figuring out to do about how to pull it off. The How will come together, this I know, if I am indeed being called to hit the road. It always comes together. Some how, some way, it always works out in ways we cannot even imagine when we are in alignment with our flow.

A big part of being able to think about this is that I have been a solo woman post-divorce now for over six years. I have mastered being on my own. I know how to be alone, how to take care of myself on my own... I have become one of those fierce independent women. I only ask for help in the most dire of circumstances though I have been advised by Brenda to Learn to Ask for Help more and practice asking in small ways. (So not easy to do!!!) I am so highly capable of doing life all on my own that I sometimes fret that I scare off potential suitors... that is another topic to write about another time for it is a common concern among mature independent thriving women who struggle attracting compatible partners.... we don't sit around waiting like helpless princesses for an enchantment of a kiss. Instead, we Seize the Day and make out with life with all the passions we possess as highly capable women who though we would love a partner, he needs to be one who can celebrate our GO AFTER IT energy. Women of my kind are not able to dim down so we are willing to be solo rather than dilute any part of our vivacious appetites To Live Authentic and Whole-heartedly.

I was once traveling in California on a road trip and as I filled up at a gas station a woman approached me. "Are you traveling alone?" she asked. I realized she must of noticed my out of state plates. She had exited her minivan where I could see several school age children inside of it.

"Yeah, I am," I answered.

She lit up with a big smile.

"Where are you going?"

She loved hearing about my road travels.

We had a quick conversation about my road trip with her exclaiming how she could never do that on her own. I understood that.

There was a time I could not either, but I have now become a self-determining woman who can go anywhere and Thrive in my own company. Yes, it gets lonesome, yet the lonelies do not hold me back. I just keep going and let the flow of the river of life bring me into divine encounters with people and places that shape and inform my life, my art and my writing and storytelling.

I am feeling so called to This. It truly does feel like a calling of some kind, like a quest. I can't wait to see how it unfolds.



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