Since returning from 7 days of wilderness paddling, I’ve had a slight identity crisis. I have a few mental images of myself that don’t quite match up to the mirror! I paddled through some very hot weather, and in my mind’s eye, my hair had been bleached by the sun to the point of being white-blonde. And when my hair blew across my face, that’s what colour it was. So that’s the image I had. I also had some pretty awesome experiences that made me feel like an absolute goddess… bathing in the river, drying in the sun on a sandy beach… magical. I was like a mermaid. So now I feel like, uh, I was a goddess sort of in the past. Now I’m just me again. Kinda makes me sad. So, I just have to remember that experience and know that I really am magical!
Then, because of all the paddling, lifting, and the 11-km sprint at the end, I felt like the HULK! I mean, I built some serious muscles! However… when I looked in the mirror, I really didn’t look any different! I felt like I had such pipes! But I look the same as before. Although today I noticed my shoulders in my peripheral vision — so maybe I have a few new muscles. :) And my abs… I noticed them today, too.
I was a magical pixie with gorgeous blonde hair, adventurous and free… and at times, all I want to do is return to that world.
As a magical pixie, I seem to have lost some of my businesswoman-liness. I feel shy and don’t feel like doing any promotion — marketing leaves a bad taste in my mouth. At the canoe races on the weekend, I actually had a little trouble talking to people — that’s new for me! I feel very introverted, and I used to be pretty balanced between the two extremes (introversion and extroversion). Or, at least, I was an introvert who had figured out how to act extroverted. Now, I don’t feel like acting whatsoever — I am fully into being my genuine self, no pretenses. Which is a good thing, right? Not something we are usually able to do! But I seem to have lost some social skills as well. So, are social skills just us acting, playing roles? I guess so! And I’m out of practice, and it’s not coming back to me all that quickly either.
Overall, I guess you could say I haven’t quite emerged from my journey within.
I thought I might be overly serious when I returned, like I had really grown up. I figured after 8 days of being super-responsible (which I was), facing survival on my own abilities (which I did), and being completely independent (ditto), I might be somewhat annoyed by the mundane. This is true in some respects, but I have also connected to my inner child, I think. During the trip, I certainly saw things through new eyes. I sang while I paddled — silly songs, fun songs, made-up songs. “Hey little bird, hey little bird, flying with your big wings. Hey little bird, hey little bird, flying so high…” I looked at the wildflowers, greeted the sun and clouds, and adopted a great child-like wonder of nature. Now that I am back, that has slipped — but I’ve been indoors a lot more now, which was very, very hard to get used to after living outside for 24/7. I hated it. Being inside isn’t natural! Working on a computer isn’t natural! I couldn’t even touch it for a whole day after I returned. I also noticed humming sounds in the house that I had never noticed before, and the neighbour’s lawn mower was unbearably loud, almost painful. I guess my senses were heightened, and now they have to desensitize again.
So that’s a little of where I’m at. I am sure that I’ll return to normal again, probably… although I had some extremely spiritual experiences too, that I think have changed me. More on that another time. Hope you enjoyed these few pictures — I have so many good ones! I may have to start using flickr and share them that way. But I already have Panoramio, so I guess I’ll use that… :) I’ll let you know where to find them once I upload them!