The reality is that the start of this year has seen me display no more wisdom or knowledge than the last. I have days of clarity and days of wondering what the fuck I am doing.
A few days ago, I woke with the worst case of the missing someone blues that I can remember. I let myself cry, hurt, and finally break down over someone that left my life eight months ago.
I don’t know why I had been so adamant that I was fine, that I had moved on, that I had processed even an iota of what happened.
But for some reason, I woke up and I was suddenly angry, livid, in fact. An hour later the waves of rage turned to bittersweet reminiscing and a good old fashioned verbal slap across the face from a well meaning friend.

And the whole time, I felt an insurmountable amount of guilt over the fact that I was missing the wrong girl. I felt shame over replaying aspects of my previous relationship when I was involved in a new one now. I felt guilty that the face in my mind wasn’t Kat’s, and ashamed that I hadn’t noticed sooner how unprepared I was to let someone new into my life.

I realized that mostly I felt guilty in coming to the understanding that I wasn’t offering Kat the healed, happy, put together person that she may have thought she was getting – but a fairly broken, confused, hurting individual.
I felt as though I was asking her to clean up a mess that she didn’t create, offering up a heart to fix that she didn’t even break, and what’s more – I was scared to open up and tell her any of this.

As I explained to a coworker, who has also become a close friend, I am having trouble showing any form of vulnerability – and it is a pattern I’ve found with many of my relationships.

I hide beneath surface level conversation, an easy smile, and a laid back personality and find that I very rarely lift the veil. The remotely successfull relationships I have had have seen me unfold my seams and give my heart, begrudgingly- at first – and then fully willingly. But, it has definitely gotten exponentially harder each time.

The aforementioned friend continued mashing buttons on his video game controller and in typical stoner fashion asked, “Raff, what did you do when you first smoked a bong?”
I was a little thrown off, after all, I had just been touching on some pretty serious topics and I wasn’t sure where he was going with the question.
“I coughed up a lung,” was the somewhat sheepish answer I offered him.

He didn’t even look up from his video game as he mumbled out a pearl of wisdom I don’t even think he knew he was uncovering for me.
“and you probably choked a lot of times after that too. But you don’t stop ripping because you coughed, you don’t stop breathing because you choked, and you don’t stop loving because you were broken. Better things come down the road.”

I’m unaware whether it was simply a quote he had picked up from viewing a few sentences plastered over a beautiful, scenic photo on someone’s social media page, or whether he pulled that one out of his noggin, but it’s now recorded here for my own future reference…. because I’m sure I’ll need to hear it again and again down the road.

The day I woke up feeling like absolute garbage and regretting nearly every decision of the last year of my life, I grabbed my board and spent a few hours ripping down the mountain by myself.

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My favourite spots are off the tracks, where you can sit and take in the view with no one around. Problems suddenly seem trivial when you’re by yourself with sky, trees, and mountains as your only company.

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When I am up there, I can make sense of things. I can let go of the constant replaying of conversations, the second guessing, the lack of security. Sometimes, I feel so trapped beneath all that anxiety, but up there the mountains seem to take my burden on their gigantic, steady backs and I’m filled with an awareness that everything is going to be alright.
Because everything is going to be alright.

In other news, I’ve started another pallet board coffee table. I actually started it in the summer, but just haven’t found the initiative to really get some work done on it. This one is going to my manager. It’s funny, the only thing I ever built for myself was the first thing I ever built, my bed. I sold that over a year ago to get to Vancouver and I’ve never made another thing solely for myself since. The sense of purpose I get from building is, quite simply, a lot more rewarding when the end product is going to someone.

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Interestingly enough, I find it much easier to find pallets here in this tiny mountain town than anywhere else. I’ll keep you updated as it progresses!

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