Reaching for the Surface

It’s four in the morning, and probably not the most ideal time for me to write, as I really want to sleep, but I feel like some words need to be put out into the world.

I stirred myself out of depression today – I felt it sliding across my heart, weighing heavy on me, and my tears were building inside. And rather than feel overwhelmed by it, I felt challenged. So I styled my new haircut, threw on some eyeliner, and headed out the door. Next thing I knew I was 50 miles away in Brookline, hanging out with Jen and meeting some fantastic people. My night was the completely opposite of what it would have been – had I allowed the oppression to take over, and not taken control of myself.

We have more control than we believe. We are capable of fantastic things – all we need is to exert the effort necessary. Sometimes results are quick and we are rewarded in an expedient manner, and sometimes we need to be comforted in the knowledge that we acted with integrity and strength.

My words came well today. I spoke from my soul – from a place of authenticity, and I suppose this is my reward for journeying on the road alone, and finding comfort in myself.

In every little apartment building and house in Boston, there are families and couples and college students and professionals. It overwhelms me sometimes to walk the streets, and feel all the life pulsating around me. All the life, and all the futility. All the wasted energy on things that are minuscule and matter little to our souls.

We need to live lives of intention – of authenticity.

My friend was hurting this evening, and I think I helped him a little. At the very least, I touched his heart a smidgen, and any time I’m near his heart, I am content to know at least I was there, even for a moment.

Sleep is calling to me swiftly. I must depart, and yet… the sound of my thoughts and their transference to this screen is very comforting. I need to write more. I need to share with the world these clandestine dreams and haphazard schemes, and the chaotic themes of the world. 🙂

Good night.

Lake Parker

I love being in Vermont. I’m confused about my feelings, because I know I love being up here, but at the same time, my lifestyle has always been so much different. Granted, there are parts of Vermont that are much like that to which I am accustomed, but the Northeast Kingdom is an entirely different world. It’s the part I love, but it’s the part I am unsure I could be happy living year-round. Everyone’s first reaction to me is “what about the winter?” and “what about the snow?” I understand the winters are hard, but with a good vehicle and a bit of acclimation, I’m sure I could learn to love all the seasons in this little corner of heaven.

I’m going to trust God, and trust the Road – two things I have gained bountiful amounts of respect for in the past few months.

Last night, I had a wonderful talk with Jess Robinson, and we were talking about our new Tupperware business. She had been talking to Deb about me, and Deb made a comment about Kara (me) being “wherever the wind leads her” or whatnot, and Jess goes “yep, that’s Kara.”

The fact that this is now how I am described is an incredible thing to me. I always knew my Spirit was a free one, but I certainly never allowed it free reign. I have finally learned to trust myself, and to be happy with whatever comes my way. It’s all a part of life – this brief breath of the air we share. It passes, as do we, but the time between the inhale and the exhale has the potential to be transcending – everything we dream and more.

. . . .

Going home tomorrow. I’m ready – there are so many things I need to do. I want to kick ass, take names, and really start practicing living simply. I have a feeling it’s going to be a lifelong pursuit, but I’m okay with that. Already I can tell how different the world is, now that I am more focused, simplified, and centered.

Jess Donaghy, my friend up here in Vermont, said something pretty crazy to me the other day. We were talking about depression and anxiety and the whole lot, and I shared some of the issues I had been having before my crazy cross-country trip. To my surprise, she completely agreed with me, and said “Yeah, you are completely different now.” What was so surprising about this was not my change, but the obvious difference to someone who rarely saw me, let alone knowing all the secret intricacies of who I am. She went on to describe the way I was before – always looking around, always being chatty and on edge. She said now I was so different – that I was calm – peaceful, and happy.

It’s incredible to know that the changes I feel in my Soul are apparent to the world, as well. It makes me happy to know – truly know – now, that people can change, and that we have the power to make radical differences in our own lives.

It’s very empowering. ☺

West Glover, Vermont

It’s hard to feel content when you’re not sure what you want.

I know certain things. I am aware of the kind of person I want to be, and the feeling my home will have, and the type of man I want to marry. But all of these things are future projections- and furthermore, they are things that could completely change as life unfolds.

I’m relatively comfortable in this state of “in-between.” I am enjoying having no school and no job to worry about – it’s a completely different lifestyle for me. Since I was 16, I have worked full time and gone to school full time. This is a break that I feel I have earned, and one that I also feel I need. On the other hand, I look forward to becoming a bit more settled, and having much more structure.

However, I don’t know where I want to settle. I can’t imagine building a life in Massachusetts – not after I have seen other parts of the country. For some reason, Worcester County holds such terrible connotation for me. I can’t shake it, no matter how I try. I certainly appreciate home more than I have in a long time, but I still don’t feel it embodies my soul in any fundamental way, other than holding memories of childhood and growing, lessons and schooling.

It will unfold the way it should – I need to keep reminding myself of that. The synchronistic wonderment of the last few weeks is enough proof to me that there is a plan for me, and that it is beautiful and filled with Joy and creativity. I never need to quiet my Soul again – I never need to deny myself of Me.

My friend from up here in Vermont, Aaron, just called. It was really nice to hear his voice. The last couple hours have been weird, since I’m alone in Vermont on the lake, and it started storming pretty crazily. I wasn’t scared, but it’s one of those natural events that reminds you not only how small you are in this world, but also how alone. So it was nice to connect with someone, even if only briefly over the phone.

It was a strange feeling when my father and grandpa left this morning. One moment, they were there and we were all griping at each other, and the next moment I was walking down the steps to the camp, opening the door, and being completely and utterly alone. As Jason reminded me – I’m not alone – I have Panda and Jesus. But it’s still not the same as having the two favorite men in my life sitting around the camp, reading the paper and watching the game, drinking their coffee and eating pistachios. I had a wonderful weekend with them, and I honestly wish every weekend could be like this past weekend, even if it meant I had to help Dad build railings and play with screwguns.

The Synchronicity of this Divine Life

So many things have been happening, I couldn’t begin to start and explain them. All I’ll say is that it’s true: the energy we put out there is returned to us.

I returned home with so many fears. Although, the last couple days before I returned, I was able to get into a frame of mind that welcomed the return and the challenges. Yet never in my dreams would I have imagined the incredible things that have been coming my way.

Europe with Kara Simpson is only a few weeks away… I can barely believe that, for one. Also, we’re going to be there during the Irish Matchmaking Festival…so… I might not return home. 😛

Contrarily, I have booked my flight home on October 7th, so I am officially returning to the States for the Fall. This new development partially came from meeting some fantastic new people this past week. In fact, it was from meeting Lizzie West, and her husband, Baba. With them, I have found new inspiration to change the world, and use my voice for it’s beauty and it’s passion, rather than allow my life to become stagnant or my heart apathetic. As Lizzie said, perhaps we have been brought together for a reason, and I hope I can be an integral part of this beautiful path they are traveling. I will tell you more of that another day, though.

I have also become a Tupperware consultant, and writing that after the preceding paragraph sort of makes me laugh, but I mean come on now – I have to make some money! My ideals and my passion only take me so far, haha. So please book a party with me. Puh-puh-please!?! Honestly, though, it is really important to me, and I truly hope to create a business there. It’s such a great message of empowerment to women, and the product is very eco-friendly… and dates back to the time when I remember my Babcie using it in her kitchen when I was a little girl. 🙂

I’m leaving for Vermont tomorrow, which should be fun. I’ll be up there with Dad and Grandpa for a day or two, and then I believe a couple more “manly men” will be joining us for the fair and the Red Bones party this weekend. It’s crazy, because after this trip I just took, I’m excited to return to Vermont; however, the escape is not really necessary. My return to Massachusetts has been such a surprise success, and now there are so many things I wish to do and accomplish. Yet Vermont still calls to my soul, and I’m looking forward to spending time with my father, especially after all we’ve been through. And, of course, my Grandpa will be there, and that will be such a relief and enjoyment for him after so many months of taking care of Grandma. She’s doing better, but still requires much of his care and attention. I pray God will assist my family in handling that situation with as much patience and grace as possible.

I painted my first painting this evening. Jess Robinson came over and we painted, and it was absolutely wonderful. I couldn’t believe the… freedom in which I allowed myself to paint. I never could have done it before – I would have been too restricted, too anxious to create something on a canvas like that. However, I painted from my newly-awakened soul, and I am so happy with the results.

I am a brand new person. And life is divine and filled with beautiful synchronicity.

I could not ask for more.

Lizzie West & Baba Buffalo

I’m annoyed by the practicality of my last blog post. I’m tempted to delete it, but I guess I’ll let it be. 😛

I wish there was a way I could start this without sounding like a dope, but I saw Lizzie West tonight and she was amazing. There, I said it. I know, there was nothing overtly “dopish” about that statement, but let me tell you, I was like a little girl getting to meet her favorite Disney character. Not that Lizzie is anything like a Disney character… okay, maybe it was a poor analogy, but the fact of the matter is, I was totally besotted, and was lucky to get a coherent sentence out. And then when I finally did, I talked too much.

All I really need to say about this woman is that she is incredible, and a beautiful representation of someone I wish to be like for the rest of my days. She has passion, and soul, and overflowing with authenticity, and it’s so refreshing and inspiring to see.

http://www.lizziewestlife.com

The other day I told Kara (Simpson) that I wanted to be a part of something – that I wanted to take whatever steps necessary to start having a voice in this world, to make a difference. The world needs change, and it needs to be infused with more light and beauty, and I want to be a part of that.

There’s still a chance for change. It’s not too late. We still have the opportunity to awaken from our apathy, and walk the Earth with purpose and passion.

Lizzie West, once again, reminded me of that. 🙂

Sleeping in Cars

I’m finding that “sleeping in walmart parking lots” is one of the most common search terms that results in leading people to my blog. Considering this, I feel that perhaps I should write more about these experiences, as to perhaps assist these blog-searchers a bit more in their quest for information. 🙂

Yes, it is legal to park your car at Walmart for the night, and sleep. It’s an urban myth that Sam Walton out this allowance in his will, but indeed, it is up to the store managers whether they allow trucks and RVs to park for the night. It is recommended that you go and get the manager’s permission, which they often will give. I usually go in, walk around, purchase something, and make sure that I feel safe in the area.

Also, many stores are 24-hour Super Walmarts, which makes this a safer place than, say, a rest stop, to spend the night. In fact, although my blog indicated otherwise, I highly discourage anyone from sleeping at a rest stop, especially on the east coast. In many cases this is illegal (however, you can often get away with grabbing a few hours if necessary), but furthermore, VERY dangerous. Your best bets are either the car lots in truck stops, a 24-hour diner, or, my personal favorite, a Walmart Superstore.

I always made sure to park in a partly secluded, yet well-lit spot in the parking lot. If I could park by truckers, I preferred that. In my time as a manager working off the Mass Pike, I found the truck drivers to be the most considerate and safe of the bunch. I have a sun shield, which I always made sure to put up before I went to sleep. Make sure that you do not leave your car keys in the ignition, or your car idling. If I had more preparation time, I probably would have made some make-shift curtains, or taped some cardboard paper to the windows, so people couldn’t look in and see me laying there. I also kept my bottle of mace (or pepper spray) by my side, sometimes even in my hand as I fell asleep, and my cell phone at the ready. Safety first!

Yes, I usually cracked the back windows a bit, for some air current. Make sure they are not open enough for a hand to sneak through. I would not recommend car-sleeping in the South, unless you want to die of heatstroke. It can be done, but the one time I slept in Picayune, Mississippi, it was torture – and I probably got about 2 hours of total sleep throughout the night.

Another alternative would be to sleep in campgrounds – pay the $10-25 fee to park your car, and sleep there. I have yet to do this, but often considered it. Many of these places have security, and showers. Some are even free:

http://www.freecampgrounds.com

Hostels are another great option – but unfortunately there are not too many quality ones located in the United States. However, they’re occasionally worth looking into. I almost stayed in a one in Taos, New Mexico (www.abominablesnowmansion.com) that looked great, but ended up having a friend who took me in.

http://www.hostels.com

I’ll try to update this post, since there is so much random information on the net about this phenomena of sleeping in one’s car, but I understand the importance of (a) saving money and (b) ensuring one’s safety. They key is to always be aware of one’s surroundings, and make sure to listen to that instinctual feeling that says to “get out of there.”

Homecoming

Occasionally I get the feeling like I want to cry and cry and cry.

Sometimes it’s when I glance at a picture I took, and suddenly I’m transported right back to that spot, feeling and breathing and being there. Sometimes it’s just an image in my mind, or a random impulse. The whole world is different now. Yes, I am back home… but my entire world has been changed.

I don’t want to cry because I’m sad, though, because I’m not. I’m actually very happy. Today was one of the best days of my life. I went over to my Dad’s house in Charlton, and we had a fantastic day. All the kids were there (Joel, Govie, Candice, and I) and we haven’t all been together like that in years and years. We sat outside by the pool and we laughed, and then we ate steamers and lobsters, and even Dad, while he was saying Grace, had to cut the prayer short because it was all so beautiful. I almost cried myself, sitting there, being happy.

Today assuaged so many of my fears of coming home. I was so nervous that I would be depressed, or that I would feel more distant than ever from my family and the people who matter. I am overjoyed to learn that this trip has only brought me closer to the authentic self I was always hoping to express and to be, and that now I move more fluidly through moments. I am more settled in the Present, and I am more confident of my place within it.

But occasionally I just want to sob. I am unaware of where this impulse is originating from, but I know it is partly from a deep appreciation of the Road, and of the Silence, and of the Solitude I experienced there.

I was always one who thrived in solitude rather than feared it, but now it is more than that. Now it is an awareness of my strength, of my profound nature, my grace, my gifts, and my place on this earth. I am honored to have had the opportunity to learn this things, and at such a young age. I have an entire life now to impress myself upon the world, and leave marks of beauty and grace, and poetry.

Home: Sturbridge, Massachusetts

I can hardly believe that I’m in my own bed.

I drove over 600 miles yesterday. Arrived home at 2:45 AM. Mom waited up for me. I stumbled upstairs, took a shower, and crashed. Now I wake up, and here I am – in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, in my own bed for the first time in over three months.

I realized driving into town that I have never been away this long. I have NEVER been out of Worcester County for more than a couple weeks at a time. Lots of kids have the experience of being gone that long when they go off to college, but I commuted for six years. Just another reason why this trip was invaluable to me.

Everything has changed. I was a little scared of coming home, of driving these streets again. And it might be hard at first. But then I realized that it doesn’t need to be that way.

One thing I’ve realized because of this trip is the awesome power we have- the ability to make changes, to impress ourselves upon the world and make things happen. Yes, perhaps Fate may catch up with me every now and then, but I have the capability of making choices, changes, and inserting myself into the world around me.

That’s a powerful realization, when one thinks about the far-reaching effects such a Truth could hold.

Talked to Jessica Robinson for over TWO hours last night, while driving home. Gosh, I love that girl. I can’t wait to see her again. I got sentimental with her, as I tend to do, but I can’t help myself – I want her to understand how amazing she is, and how grateful I am for her. We don’t always get to see each other as often as I would like, but I’ve learned to accept that, because when we do, I’m so happy. I feel happy in her presence. She mentioned how she was a little afraid that this trip would change me, and although that would be okay, she didn’t want to lose me – she was afraid of the distance it might put between us. It was beautiful to know that, yes, perhaps I have changed, but the truth of the matter is that Jessica has always seen me – the real ME, and loved and accepted the real me – so if anything, this trip has only brought us closer.

I have the vague feeling the previous paragraph is filled with run-ons and is perhaps haphazardly written, but I am going to accept that. It’s 11:30 AM and I’m still exhausted, but I know I need to get up and face the day. I have a car FILLED to the brim with my trip, and I need to clean her out, process some things, and prepare for the next step in the journey of this life.

So don’t BEGIN to think that this is the end of my blog.

This is only the beginning… of the rest of my life. 🙂 As they say.


End of the Road


End of the road, so to say.

I’m in Toledo, Ohio. Left Chicago area today. I want to write, but again, I’m too tired to really focus on words. I just want to lay here and edit my photos and tell Panda to stop staring at me. She’s wondering why I have to sleep; why I can’t drive straight through the night and get us home.

She just doesn’t understand.

She’s excited, though, because I took her red dress out of the trunk, and she’s going to wear it tomorrow.