follow the flow
a travel journal and photography journey
I am sitting on the same couch where I posted my very first blog writing on Follow the Flow exactly one year ago. I started the year here, and it feels so grounding and satisfying to be ending it here, too.
I am at my dear friends house, Carissa and Damian, and their son Brendan and new love puppy Joey. Last night we gathered here--we being myself, Terence, Carissa and Damian, and our friends Aaron and Sarah. This, a truly magical and rare group of friends. We spent the evening and deep into the newness of the first day of 2020, together. Sharing intimate moments of honesty. Laughing by the fire in fuzzy blankets. Reading poetry and singing songs. Calling in our desires and honoring our growth.
When the time was 11:59pm, we all stood up in a circle together and lifted our left foot up in the air. That way, when the clock struck 12:00am, January 1st, 2020, we started off the year on the right foot.
I mean, how brilliant is that? Can you feel me smirking from wherever you are?
This year has been epic. This year of travel. This inward journey within an outward journey. I went back and took a look at that writing I wrote on the first day of 2019. I smile, as I feel within me the memories, experiences, joy, growth, hardship, friendship, discovery, art, beauty, held within these two sentences...
I have been receiving a clarity of messages from the deepest parts of myself lately, that this next year of travel (inner and outer) is going to be about the non-planning, the following of instincts, the allowing of what feels good, exciting, juicy, alluring, honest…and not pushing the agendas of fear, doubt, or stories. And with that, I realize the beauty that this next year may be everything and anything that I never expected.
And so it was.
It was scary, uncomfortable, and overwhelming at times, of course--leaving my home, leaving my friends, leaving my work, on a quest for the unknown. Most of 2019 felt like it was spent with my feet off the ground. Floating across the world.
One of the things that used to ground me the most was my acting and performing work. But I made a choice to take a break for the year of travel. Not because I didn’t love it, but because I felt like it had become an unhealthy relationship—I was relying too heavily on my work to give me a sense of worth. I had defined so much of myself through being an actor that my sense of self was beginning to shatter. So, our relationship, Acting and Me, needed a break. And without that relationship, I was introduced to a world of unknowns that felt liberating and terrifying all at once...
There were parts of me that wanted to force the answers to come, to grasp violently for something to give me Purpose, Meaning, Stability, Comfort. But I knew it wouldn't come that way. The more I tried to fill the unknowns out of fear, the more uncomfortable I became, and the further away from truth I fell...
And then, after floating along my journeys for a few months, I came to a point when I didn't need any answers anymore. I was finding bliss in the questions, a freedom in them. An ease and a trust that opened something in me. And then one day, as though by accident, I was creating things left right and center. I felt like I was being bombarded by ideas for different creative projects involving movement, voice, and theatre/acting and sometimes couldn't go to sleep at night because the ideas needed to be written down. I was having dreams and visions constantly of art and experiences that were wanting to be birthed into the world.
And this reminds me of one of my favorite quotes of all time, by Rainer Maria Rilke:
"...be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."
Living, loving and honoring the question marks. That was my 2019. There were gifts waiting within me to be discovered that needed me to be Open, Curious, Questionable enough, in order to receive them. As cliché as it sounds, I needed to be okay with the possibility of losing parts of myself in order to get to know parts of me I hadn’t met yet. Amazing, Smart, Creative, Brave, Bold, Really Quite Cool parts.
And I now feel myself in the most creatively charged place I've experienced in my life! I'm writing music and poetry, I'm singing and dancing, I'm doing photography and other visually creative endeavors for pure pleasure, I'm teaching and dreaming up a business! And the actor part of me is more grounded in a trust that I don’t need it in order to feel whole, happy, and creative. It is one of many channels that I can express myself through. And from that place, I get to do it from joy again. I get to create it all from joy again.
My new year resolution for 2019 was to be myself. And the image that came to me about my 2019 was of a butterfly flying through mountains towards the sun. And for 2020? The image that comes to me is of the roots of a tree deep in the earth. Of feet on that earth, spreading into the soil. And of a womb, that strong, resilient, loving container that holds all of creation. So you may find me more often barefoot this year, more often hiking and laying in the grass, more often dancing low to the ground. I desire to be a space, physically and spiritually, that my creations, of all forms, can land in.
The tree can only grow as tall as its roots are deep, right? So here I am, rooting, and growing, rooting and growing, rooting and growing...
And that, my friends, is officially the end of this one year travel blog! Yep. I told myself I would write this blog for one year, and here, we, are.
If you read my last writing, you know that this blog is going to be changing this year. I'm intending to keep it around, but it will be transformed into a space that can hold more of my creative endeavors. So the writings that are here now, may not be here a few weeks from now. Enjoy them while they last...
I'm super proud of myself for everything I moved through this year, in life, love, travel and creativity. And I’m thankful to you, lovely readers, for following along my journey, in whatever capacity that was. This has been Creative. This has been Therapy. This has been Connection. This has been Confusion. This has been Drama. This has been Comedy. This has been a Gift.
With Love, Gratitude, Awe, and Question Marks...