Van Living. Wow.
Nothing has made me so happy. In my (almost) 27 years there has not been so much joy and freedom in my life as living in my vehicle has brought me. No trinkets, no giant easy-access fridge, no television, no any-time internet. The freedom is real and complete.
My weekends have been spent on the extreme west coast with no cell service and wild and beautiful weather. My evenings are spent with fresh air, starry skies or the sound of rain on the roof and I am blessed with the first light every morning which often comes with incredible sunrises and a vibrancy of life that I have only just tasted.
This freedom has provided me with much needed heeling and 10 days ago I put my heart on the line. Although I didn’t feel it at the time, there was an extreme vulnerability in my action. The responses happened like a wave, small at first and then enormous and powerful as it collided with land that seemed so solid.
The response that happens when you put yourself out there shapes you as significantly as the wave shapes the beach. This one is certainly shaping me, testing me, and carving me into shapes that will in turn be tested with the next wave.
Speaking my truth is my mantra of 2017, though I ask myself: what was my intention in releasing my story?
My answer is in two parts.
Firstly and most importantly I intended to free myself of the emotional weight of gaurding the harmful secret. I am free, and it feels so good.
Secondly, I wished to open a conversation that I felt was taboo in our society. To speak openly about the culture of sexual assult, and though I have a lot of trouble using this word: rape. This second intention was less thought out. Though I am so glad that I have done it, it poses challenges to me that I had not planned. Challenges such as emails from readers exposing their own trauma, trauma that I am not equiped to deal with though I am glad that my story has been able to help in the healing process of others. It has brought old friends, friends from middle school, elementry school and from around the world out of the woodwork as they seek to show support or speak in solidarity.
The current and main challenge staring me right in the face is where I go from here. With the vast energy of my friends, family and readers who have reached out there seems to be path openning. Is this a call to action? I’m unsure. As the walls of my inner architecture gain integrity, I myself have started to seek out further challenges and experiences that show me not who I will become, but who I am already. This challenge found me with no searching effort.
Part of these introspective experiences finds me sitting in silence, spending copious amounts of time in my happy place on the west coast. Jordan river is my current medicine of choice, the place that restores me between actions, the environment that nourishes me and energizes me more than any food or beverage possibly could; which is highly valuable as I have inadvertently embarked on a journey that I can see no end to.
May the paths of our lives be clear.
Ps. For those of you who are reading this and have gone through your own traumas, please know that I welcome your e-mails though I ask that you leave details of your trauma out… this is painful for me and does not help my own healing journey. If you’re looking for someone to talk to that is able to handle whatever you say I highly recommend the Victoria Sexual Assualt Centre, they’re compassion and wisdom helped me tremendously. The link is here: www.vsac.ca