Saturday, February 23, 2008

Wild Life and random thoughts

I've been thinking about why, when I'm home I always feel so constricted and not quite so happy as when I'm off roaming around the world. And yet when I'm roaming on my adventures I love parts of it but not all of it. I am sick of traveling solo on adventures and realized I think my absolute favorite adventure over the past few years was the one where I took my kids to Australia, and the many trips where I've visited friends & fam (NYC, LA, San Fran, hiking Guadalupe Peak, Glacier with Dad), plus the 2 weeks I spent alone in the cabin in New Mexico - rather than my big adventures like the Galapagos or Nepal where I just met people on the way but traveled solo. I love seeing beauty in the natural world, and photographing it and I love that traveling removes me (temporarily) from deadlines and pressures of daily life.

So I sort of see myself with these two lives- the big adventures and the kind of boring daily life in Texas. I actually pitched my agent the idea of doing a book on this and she liked it, but we're focusing on Losing My Religion: A Christian Struggles to Reconcile Evolution & Faith (working title) first. The title I thought of is Wild Life: Ordinary Suburban Mom, Extraordinary Bohemian Adventures and based in large part on my blog, being this bohemian Oregonian environmentalist tree-hugger adventurer and world traveler living in this conservative Texas suburban neighborhood - and my journey from heartbreak to strength as I find my way post-divorce. I envision the cover all white with these pencil-outlined identical cookie-cutter homes and then this one in all color with me holding an alligator popping out of it. I've already done part of the book proposal actually, and on the cover page is a quote someone wrote me once "There's not many women who would venture into swamps. You seem like a women's version of the Crocodile Hunter!" Hey, it could make the next big TV series!! That's my dream... so maybe in a few years it will be the next Sex & The City (though without all the sex - LOL).

So anyway I'm going to start to think about how I can create some of these same feelings of expansion and joy and living large within my home life in Texas. I'm "stuck" in Houston until my kids graduate because Matt & I both agreed to stay here so they would have both parents near and in their lives daily. After having to choose between parents I swore I would never do that to my kids! (Then again I also swore I'd never get divorced, but well life happens). I'm not condemning anyone who lives away from their kids, but for me, it's a committment I made and something I'm gladly willing to sacrifice for even though I completely feel like a square peg in a round hole here. Before long, when they go to college, I will move out of Texas - and maybe travel the globe for a couple years or live on the beach in Hawaii or Australia.... Still I have learned, with some struggle, to try not to conform in this place and to instead be true to myself... which I've been more successful at since my divorce!

So that comes back to the question, how can I have a "larger than life" life while still here in Houston?! One thing might be to get a different house. I'd love a house in the country again, like along the San Jacinto River maybe. I've even looked around for land at one point. I think part of my answer also lies in physical activity. I need to get out and do something active besides just running. I've pondered martial arts, or Zumba or other cool new fitness classes. The photographer I'm going to work with in Australia runs a Poleates Studio - I'd never heard of that before but it looks amazing! She said the boat has a pole on deck believe it or not and she'll show me some moves. So watch out everybody! ;)

I used to have these lyrics at my website. This song, Joining You, by Alanis Morrissette reminded me of myself, and I am listening to that album now (it's on Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie but technically I'm listening to the MTV unplugged CD). She will be in Houston in concert Thursday and I soooo want to go but alas I am pinching pennies. The entire song's lyrics are here. But I like this part:

you and i we're like four year olds
we want to know why and how come about everything
we want to reveal ourselves at will and speak out minds
and never talk small
and be intuitive
and question mightily
and find god
my tortured beacon
we need to find like-minded companions


Anonymous said...

Hey Wendee:

I empathize with your thoughts. Funny, how my travels are a mixed blessing as well as having the kids out-of-the-house and on their own. Living alone and traveling permits much time to reflect, reminisce, and reassess life.

Brian Shmaefsky

Miranda said...

I totally identify with the boring/conventional daily life vs. the travel adventures I take yearly. I agree that there has to be a way to make ordinary life more expansive, but ultimately I think we should not be putting our square-peg selves into round holes and should both keep an eye to moving to a more appropriate home long term!

Sharon Guynup said...

Walking through an amazing landscape or getting a glimpse into the exotic foreign-ness of another country is wildly exhilarating. It can also be lonely.

It's so much harder to keep our everyday world vital and brilliant and alive--but if anyone can, it's you. You're a bright soul, you constantly question, and you love to have fun. I wish you lived around the corner!