jessie strong
This is a picture of my dear friend Jessie standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon. Last night I went over to her home in the Castro. We talked most of the night about how we want to re-harness our strength.

Jessie is soon making a new transition to the beautiful state of New Mexico. There she will study massage and see what waits for her with her relationship and new healing and discoveries.

Four 1/2 years ago, she and I packed up our art car in Boston {started by some neighborhood teenage girls and then subsequently added onto along our road-trip} and headed West for Cali! Our sites were set on San Francisco, but our motto was “Nothing Short of Ecstasy”. Which sounds so over-the-top now, but we felt it. No point in landing somewhere unless… we were ecstatic about it.

In the beginning I was incredibly anxious to leave, not knowing what lay ahead and not having my family close by, or any real support systems, and feeling utterly dependent on Jessie. I was so sure she would ditch me for someone more exciting. Jessie is a serious social magnet, and me a bit more shy. Plus I wasn’t even sure I knew how to drive! I had some mega fears about passing trucks and subconsciously, or not, thought I might meet my birth father’s fate by dying in a car accident. That sounds crazy putting it down on screen, but every time I felt nervous about passing a truck, I had the reality tucked inside that with one clumsy move, you might be a goner.

So there were no car accidents. Only one time sleeping on the side of the road in a strange town, most of the route was planned out between friends, campsites and two hotels. Gradually the layers of fear and inhibition peeled away. Gradually, we did with less. Increasingly we welcomed new adventures and an openness filled us.

You want to go on an alligator swamp tour? Sure! Do you want to learn two-stepping with Dallas gay men? Totally. Wanna learn Hebrew songs and celebrate Yom Kippur? Yep. Would you like to build a 5 foot tower out of Twinkies? You betcha.

When we arrived in San Francisco we were at the height of our exhilaration and openness, and we were met with the creativity and free-flowing times of the end of the dot-com. Friends told us we too could make 125K {that’s entry level!} and that they were handing away jobs at the airport for start-ups. The parties were plentiful and everyone offered up their couch, because god forbid finding an apartment in this town!

We couch surfed for months, thrilled to have a little corner of the floor. We awoke every morning and explored the hills, drank big lattes, did free bikram yoga, took taste tests for pay, cut our hair off, wore our cowboy hats regularly, made little art projects, flirted– it was so exciting and new!

How do we get back into that headspace of open-ness and excitement for our daily adventures? Perhaps by taking daily risks and putting yourself out there. Following your heart. Digging for your most authentic path. Working through the anxiety of change and allowing yourself to trust in the future.

I need to remember this. Jessie my dear, you go and follow IT. It will be scary, and it will be uncertain, but a new stronger self will emerge. I believe in you!