I’m going camping!!
Camping shouldn’t be a big deal. But it is. I didn’t camp last year but before that it was a staple of “our” life. There was a year or two that life, and work and lack of planning got the best of us and we missed it, but for the most part we were a family that loved Creation. We got out into it as much as we could. I missed it last year but I was blessed to have my mountain, my writing room, and my Leavenworth, so I was reminded every weekend, as the tourists drove up Icicle, that I lived where they came to camp.
This year, I set my mind on camping.
Why is it such a big deal?!
Because, for all my hours in the gym, I’m a girl (a 5’, $1.30 soaking wet, girl)? No, ok well, a tiny bit. Because I’m unattached? A little. Because I’m in charge? YES! There are plenty of ladies out there that like doing it themselves, and enjoy proving their independent side. Not me, which is ironic since I’ve been told (more than once) I have a very strong masculine persona. I don’t want to be in charge. Never have. I’m just Italian with ADHD and will interrupt you to tell you what’s up if you’re not making sense.
I’m a follower. I’ve joked for years that that’s why I got in trouble as a kid, because I followed. And it’s the truth. I say, “I do what I want” but I prefer taking direction. I’m a great follower, helper and contributor. You want me on your side because I will win the masses for you! I thrive there. And I’m unashamed. I am a follower! I’m strong, I’m opinionated, I’m sure of who I am, and who I am in Christ… and I prefer to follow. I’ve learned I need to seek leaders I can respect and stand with 100% but I feel my best when I’m in a support role.
How, exactly, does that tie into camping? I’ll tell you how, because I’m the lead on this, that’s how. I don’t want to be in charge. But I want to camp. No one is telling me what to do, therefore, by default, I must lead if I want to camp. I accept full responsibility for anything that goes wrong. And that’s scary!
I’ve chosen this for The Middle. I would rather be strong and brave and courageous and do this… even if I am afraid, than whine and wish and not go. I would rather do the things I do not want to do partner-less than choose a partner on a whim, so I have someone to keep me safe for a moment, who will leave when he’s tired of my alpha tendencies, or when the wind changes. I would rather take this time, take this risk, take this life as it is, not as I would have it be, than screw things up again.
Honestly, I’m not in danger. I will not be alone, just unattached. The chances of the car breaking down on the way are slim. The odds that a bad guy will attack me are minimal. And, well, sorry to break it to you, but Sasquatch isn’t real… so he’s not a threat. I’ll be fine.
I can feel the fear and I can do it anyway! I am not who I was, waiting for someone to drive me where we’re going (although that’s what I prefer). I am new, and I will enjoy life, and Creation, and waterfalls, and time with people I care about, and railroad bridges and the wild, wonderful respite that comes from pine needles and green Coleman stoves.
I guess, in part, the fear is getting used to being alone, doing it my way, taking direction from no one. Some women like it and, assuredly, I’ve been accused of being too strong. But I’m not… really! If you keep my secret… the truth is… I am weak and delicate and afraid that one more Leaving will, quite literally, kill me. I don’t want to be alone, but I will be, for now, for The Middle, to be sure that I find a partner who will not leave me, who I can be sure of, who accepts me, as I am, for my strength and my fragility. I will be alone for now but not forever. AND… I am going to enjoy this summer of camping! It’ll be chaos and irony and good times with good people or all by myself and either way I will have fun!