Rooted, I used to think.

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Counting on Forever - Tuesday, Apr. 13, 2021
Moving In Together - Friday, Mar. 26, 2021
Cut Block - Thursday, Mar. 18, 2021
Spring - Monday, Mar. 01, 2021
February Daffodils - Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021

Thursday, Feb. 04, 2021 @ 7:32 pm
Scattered Moments

Snow falling heavily. Looking up into the infinite night sky. Coastal storm. Snow up here, on the mountain, rain down there, in the city.

I ski through the forest with friends. Warm, intelligent souls.

I reach out for help and am met with such generosity. Like the endless snow that falls from the sky.

I’ve strayed from myself. I can see that now.

I become closer with Adriana. I become less guarded around her. Less intimidated by her resume and credentials. By being honest and vulnerable, I create an opening, and she leans in.

“Be kind to yourself, Shannon,” she says, “there is nothing wrong with you.”

Last weekend, skiing in knee-deep powder at the resort. I ski with Russell and Scott, and they lead me to top of a steep chute. The slope drops away at a seemingly vertical angle. I look at the run, and they look at me wondering if I’ll balk. I don’t. I drop in and link four turns through the steep section, the deep snow sloughing around me in a small avalanche. I ski out to the side of the chute to let the snow tumble down without me.

A few days later, talking with Scott. “You improve each time we ski together. I wasn’t sure how you’d react at that chute. I was impressed.”

And then Russell. We are driving home in the dark in the rain on the winding highway. “I’m impressed with your resilience. The first run of the day, you stopped and said that you couldn’t do it, that you couldn’t manage the depth of the powder. You had that look on your face, the one where I know that you are upset and crumbling. And then by the end of the day we can’t keep up with you through the glades. It’s neat to watch your growth.”

Growth mindset.

Breaking my destructive inner narratives. I’m not good enough. Everyone is smarter than me. I’ve done something wrong, and I’m going to get in trouble. Friendships with women are dangerous.

I bite my nails to the quick.

Work wears me down.

I meet Mark, a friend from dance, down at the beach in the dark. I pull a tall can from my water bottle cage and drink it fast. The waves breaking quietly on the sand. He reminds me of Chris in his naivety, and the time with him is relaxing and safe. The longer we talk, the further I progress on my beer, the better I feel.

I cycle through the forest in the dark and spook a coyote from the path. I stop and shine my headlamp into the ferns and find its golden reflective eyes. It stands crouched and frozen, ears pricked and paw raised.

I try a new route at the gym that has thin holds. I balance and move fluidly a quarter of the way up the route. I am impressed with myself. I have confidence here. I make a small dynamic move and catch onto the next hold. I swing from the wall then back. I might be peaking here, in my climbing career. I never imagined that I’d be doing a route this difficult at this weight.

The deep powder. The ocean waves. Bowls of hot ramen. Work. Cycle. Climb. Sleep.

I am OK. I am OK. I am OK.

Roots | Shoots