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My Dad generously bought me a plane ticket to Alaska as a belated birthday present. He knew I had never been and that I would inevitably fall in love with the mountains.

He was right. When I arrived, I got hosted by a couple of his friends. They drove me through the city of Anchorage and I fell in awe of the mountain ranges that circled the city. The overcast clouds teased a sense of adventure behind their density.

We stopped to get crepes at the Alaska Crepery and afterwards, we visited my Dad’s office. I sat in a cubicle I once worked in for years and realized how proud I was for stepping out of the 9-5 lifestyle to follow my heart instead. I had respect for my Dad and the business he built for himself and for our family, yet at the same time I felt released when I recognized it wasn’t for me. The moment I found the courage to walk away from the false security of money was the moment I started to truly live.

One of my Dad’s friends invited me on a “casual” group hike up Crow Pass. Every hike I had ever done was put on the side when I saw the mountains in Alaska. I felt quite intimidated. There was one point where we followed a slippery, muddy side trail that led down to a waterfall. If I were to have taken one wrong step, I would have fallen to my death. My stomach dropped with adrenaline. I told those ladies that they were WILD and were hiking crazier shit than me. The best part was that most of them were over 70 years of age.

The clouds grew dark and heavy, so we put on our rain gear and embraced the bitter wind. We decided not to go all the way up to the glacier since the clouds blocked our view. I didn’t mind at all, for I knew I would be back.

I was shown hemlock trees and reindeer moss and was introduced to salmon and dragon berries. We made it up to the cabin and enjoyed some lunch as I wrote in the log book. The ladies suggested I check out a local event in town where they auctioned off bachelors for women.

As I came down from the pass, I had a feeling of overwhelm come over me after getting an intense perception with BD over a message I received. Overall, I felt unheard and taken for granted. I questioned my self-worth and it was in that moment that I knew I was having a misperception.

I took a moment to pause. It was clear I was not open to being in a committed relationship right now. I had plans to meet up with BD in the near future, but the moment I felt the mountains, my heart had chosen Alaska.

I watched the way the clouds cascaded between the mountain’s crevices, creating rolling hills that transformed into meditative waves. A bird caught my eye and I observed the way it so elegantly crested its way between the mist, up and over the ridges… with so much trust and faith in its wings and the elements that guided its turns. And all I wished, more than anything else… was to feel like that bird.

I closed my eyes and prayed. I am destined to be free. Destined to feel free. I knew I deserved to be loved in the way I desired… in a way where I felt safe, protected, light… and I was far from that feeling. I continued to hold my eyes closed. l tuned into what that sense of peace might feel like to me. And then, I recognized that the love I sought for myself was only a breath away.