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July 28 2023, South Arm Road to Baldpate Lean-to:
Sidequest and her tramily invited me to come hike and camp with them the next few days since they were also going southbound. I felt so excited to have formed a solid group of friends who were so welcoming.
They reminded me of being a little kid again, as if energetically asking each other, “Do you wanna be friends?”
During the car ride to the trail, Voodoo called me. There was no caller ID, but I just knew it was him. The drive to hear his voice felt overpowering. Like a fool, I caught myself answering the phone and smiling upon hearing his voice.
He spoke of how dreary he felt without me and how much he missed me.
“I miss you, too,” I admitted, with immediate regret for the slipping of my tongue. It felt like I wanted to catch the words in the air as they left my mouth before they registered to his ears.
“Why don’t you come and see me?“ he asked.
I flash-backed to all of the people who told me, “You’re free now,” including the ranger. But how free was I really if he still infiltrated my mind and movements?
With the sweetest voice he said, “Let me come get you.”
I felt weak. I closed my eyes. He felt like my kryptonite. I knew his voice would just make me melt and so it did. I ended up telling him exactly where I was, like a fool, yet again.
He said he wanted to dance with me in the road, the way we did in the Shenies.
“I want you all the time,” he said, “I can’t sleep without your breath near me.”
“I want that, too,” I said as I took a deep breath, feeling my body weaken and wither further. I prayed for courage.
“You think you want me,” I said, “but you don’t really want me for who I am.”
“I think it’s pretty silly to assume you’re unlovable. It just seems like it’s all or nothing for you. I’m just trying to handle the ebbs and flows and if you don’t want to be a part of that, that’s fine,” he said, “I just have exhumed a lot of patience and dedicated a lot of time to you.”
“I don’t think I’m unlovable at all-that’s not it. If anything, I just haven’t been feeling self-worthy as of lately,” I said, “there’s plenty of things I am very willing to work with in a relationship, but the things that go completely against my heart and Spirit, I just simply cannot tolerate, because over time I will become numb/dead and resentful. I don’t want that for myself and I’m sure you don’t want that for me, either. Just the same, I have also dedicated a lot of time and patience with you and I enjoyed doing so, but it seems we require to be loved and cared for in different ways. You are so dear to me, but that doesn’t change the fact that I would sacrifice/compromise how I desire to be loved. You didn’t do anything wrong nor do I want you to be different as you are. I really wish I could’ve been your girl, I just don’t want to be in anymore emotional/spiritual pain as I stay silent about my needs in fear of how you might react.”
My Spirit lifted and it felt as if my words were similar to that of a deep-bellied exhale. It felt so wholesome to communicate that, but I was left with a short response on his end, showing me that he didn’t take in anything that I had expressed. I was completely dismissed. He basically told me he disagreed with what I said and that I had it wrong and that I needed to ‘try harder’ with him. All I wanted was his acknowledgment and the simple generosity of his presence. But as soon as he voiced himself with energy of inattentiveness behind it, I felt that deep sense of frustration/annoyance for men again, so I dropped it and focused on hiking again.
I still felt called to trek alone, so I told my group I would just meet them at camp. First part of the trail, there was a water crossing to which I naturally went through without taking my shoes off. The PCT prepped me well.
After the climb, I took a break at the shelter so I could dry the sweat off my back. Upon hanging out, I saw a butterfly walking around aimlessly on the dirt, its wings tattered. I had been spotting a lot of butterflies and dragonflies with dull, deadened wings, especially when I was with Voodoo. It stumbled around, nearly lifeless, and I saw myself in it. I noticed how deadened I felt, but how badly I wanted to lift my wings and fly. So badly I wanted to rise and feel that joy of being light and airy, but I felt as if I was shredded to near nothingness.
I kept walking, finding shiny rocks and mushrooms along the way. Large pink flowers blossomed with sparkling wet droplets from last nights rain upon their petals. I took a break at the Surplus Pond as I listened to the wind between the tree branches, inviting the leaves to sing amongst the croaking of the frogs. I felt at peace.
I made it to a paved road, to which their was an older couple waiting there for a friend of theirs whom they were slack packing. They asked if I needed any extra food, to which I always found myself saying ‘yes’. They trail magic’d me ramen, chips and pop-tarts—exactly what I had been craving!
From there, I climbed to the top of Baldpate East Peak and I felt very proud of myself. The views were so rewarding. I cried so much—from the beauty, from what I was going through with Voodoo, and an interchanging energy of feeling like I didn’t know what I was doing, but that somehow I would find my way and be okay.