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Monday, July 17, 2017

"Alone"

It was time. I longed to feel and know what it felt like to be truly alone. It wasn't about our children, our challenges, any stressors or the overuse of our fast paced life. From what I can remember, I've never spent "alone" time with myself. What if I don't even like myself? So after dropping off a few of our boys and visiting with a few family members, I made my way to a single owned yurt in the bush. What's written is my sporadic thoughts during my time being alone. 

*The forest is rich, thick, green and full of life. I watched a squirrel for 30 min playing around in a huckle berry tree. I tried talking to the the squirrel but apparently I don't know the squirrel language! I watched for other critters hoping they would stick around so I wasn't alone. I started asking myself, "Am I actually that person that can't be alone? I mean, absolutely "alone" with myself? No noise. No people. No Internet. No one to talk too? I've hiked lots in my life but I was always with other people. As my mind continued to talk, I decided that it was okay to talk out loud, that way it wasn't so silent anymore. 

Then the heart appeared.

*I started to find myself paranoid. I was listening to every little crackle in the bush. It wasn't a sunny day. It was cooler, cloudy and with the wind all the trees moved making it eery. I remained in the yurt for a little while and eventually made my way outside. Very windy and cool. So ear ringing silent except for the constant crackling of the trees. The silence was almost like its own noise when you're not used to it. It's peaceful, serene but so silent that you can hear the ringing in your own mind. It was very foreign to me. It was just me, alone with nature. 



"The sunset"

*I was laying in my yurt looking out to the sky and I could hear faint voices in the woods. Several times I said, "No Carrie, that's just your mind" Then finally I got up and peered out. I saw nothing. So I went outside and walked around the yurt several times. I heard it again. I thought to myself that too much silence just plays with your mind. Then my eye caught the color pink. In a distance all I could see was a woman. I watched to see if they would notice me. Then they were gone. I was hoping they would have seen me. Right then I knew, I like interaction and "alone" isn't for me. 
I was so excited to be alone until now. I started to journal. My mind wrote as I had the erg too. 

*I constantly questioned myself. Over and over. At the best of times I don't think I'm a good enough mother. I feel I need to somehow change. Maybe I don't love enough? Why have I had teenagers run away!? It must be me. Why is my husband sick? Is this punishment that I must deserve? Maybe I'm just being selfish because this isn't about me at all.......our minds are our worst enemies. 


"Where I sat"

*When the sun finally came out, it felt like my friend. I happy bright light. I did have my phone with me and I had scattered on and off service. I stayed off the Internet and I mainly used my phone to take pictures and play music once in awhile to curb the ringing silence. I sat in this wonderful homemade lawn chair and when I sat back I could see the tops of the trees with peek a boo glimpses of the sky. I started to cry. I felt sad inside. Why am I doing this!? It was silent with the odd bee or bird singing. My friend squirrel would appear here and there too. I just watched the clouds pass in the sky while listening to the wind whistling in the trees while finally relaxing and absorbing me. Just me. It must be cry worthy being me. I've been so strong. I always will remain strong however feeling like I might have some PTSD and the constant ongoing health stressors that most don't endure....it all came ahead being alone. 


My friend Squirrel

*This time I was sitting cross legged on my yurts deck. I kept realizing I was talking to myself out loud. Constantly thinking. Talking. Pacing at times. I tried doing my pebble art. Reading a book. I kept peering out into the woods. Looking around. My friend squirrel would appear from time to time. He was a chatter box. I like that he was there. I felt safe knowing how happy and playful he was in the trees and climbing on the logs. A character. I was going to name him however I just liked the name squirrel. 

*I felt like I had a "wow" moment. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason. So as I was sitting in the 1/2 outdoor outhouse, I noticed wood rounds and rocks everywhere. Wood rounds and rocks were my walls! Why didn't I notice this right away!? I just started a crafting business called, "Rock my Island" that consists of wood rounds and rocks! It wasn't a weird feeling that I was surrounded by this, it was a meant to be feeling. I was suppose to do this! The guilty feeling I had even being here left, I no longer feel guilty. "I think?"


My potty

*Many times I sat in that homemade chair that supported me to see the tops of the trees and the peek a boo sky. I tried hard to train myself to stop thinking. Maybe for once.... not to journal. I figured out something just then....you can not be truly alone, too feel truly at peace until you face yourself. Your mind. I needed to go through and deal with everything in my mind. Fighting my own thoughts. Every guilt. Questioning myself, "Who am I?" "Am I good enough?" "What should I change?" Until I was able to fight my own, I was not truly alone with a calm and peaceful mind of silence.


Where I sat inside.

*Funny, as I sat watching my friend squirrel, I started questioning that too...."Is that the same friend squirrel or is it a different squirrel?" I honestly couldn't tell. Made me think about friends in general. "Are they who we think they are?" I believe in all my friends. I love them all to pieces. I have been burned royally in the past with friends that was not who I thought they were. Interesting on how my friend squirrel reminded me of this. 

* "There's nothing to be afraid of" - Me.

*Don't stop believing. We want to believe in ourselves. We want to believe in our children. Friends. Family. We want to believe in each other. Don't stop believing - I kept chanting to myself. 

*I've noticed the sun makes you stop worrying about everything. It lightens your mind as it does the sky. It lightens the trees and everything around you. It's empowering. That is why we all need this light in our life. The sun. 

* "So when that one bee wants to be your friend and you're having an argument with it" - Me. 

* "Have you ever felt free!?" "Truly free!?" I finally did! I had no clothes on sitting just listening to the birds and maybe that one squirrel friend. It was liberating."I don't like my body. My hair. I don't even know that I like my meaningful tattoos anymore" I kept thinking. I would never sit naked unless I knew I was completely alone.

*I started thinking about hiking and all those moments I spent with others. Experiencing the underground bees, the snuffling coming from bears, the cougars, the wolves and on how when in a group of hikers, it was okay to be surrounded by wildlife. We had each other. Right now I felt grounded and safe being alone because I had my squirrel. 

*I hiked down to a beach and interestingly enough I was alone there too. Well almost alone. There was an eagle who sat on a rock bluff nearby. We were both watching each other. I found myself trying to speak eagle. lol As time passed I kept coming to the conclusion that I really don't like being alone. When I went back to the yurt I continued to study every movement and noise in the bush. I again felt paranoid. I can see why people in the reality television series "Alone and Afraid" tap out. Your mind is indeed your worst enemy.


See my friend Eagle!?

*Then I found out I wasn't alone. I was heading off to bed early and all I could hear was crackling noises! I would look outside. In every way even feeling afraid, I wanted to know what and where the noises were coming from! I sat back on my bed listening and staring in the directions of the noises. Then all of a sudden there was mice everywhere! I'm not afraid of mice so I got up and told them they're not getting my food. I had a few open bags of crackers. I tip toed towards the one mouse that was staring at me near my crackers and I snatched the crackers back. I started packing up my open food. Jeeze I never noticed them before. I think I was paying too much attention to what was outside but not in the inside! I tried to go back to sleep but they kept running all over the place. It was like they were having a party. Clinging and clanging. I couldn't take it. I grabbed a blanket, pillow and hoofed it to my car. While I was sitting in my car I watched a big cat with a huge tail walk off this log into the bush. Jeeze, now a cougar! Just then I locked my car doors. (ha ha) As my mind was thinking this cougar was a magician and he could open my car door! Again I was thinking to myself, "I do not enjoy being alone. This could be a very long night" 


See me!?

*Rise n shine! The night was understandably long. Tossing and turning in my car and watching the dark become to light made for a long night! I started walking back to the yurt. I looked all around me curious to see if that cat was still around. When I went back inside the yurt looking for the mice that kicked me out all I found was mice feces everywhere and including on my bed. I'm here for another night however contemplating if I should just leave or sleep in my car. We shall see how my thoughts are throughout the day.


I made this......"Trek"

*I left. Shows how I am not interested staying alone in the bush sharing my bed with mice. I just couldn't do it. I give all my respect to every individual that can. I definitely learned this is not me. I know writers seek solitude to allow their minds to flow, as it did mine however I'm obviously weak in this department of being alone. 

*As I was sitting on the ferry I found myself contemplating if I should just go home or surprise my dad, or my brother, or a friend. I still had two nights left before I had to pick my boys up from camp. My thoughts were so indecisive. 

*My experience offered what I wanted. I was alone. Truly alone. I felt I needed to finish my time. I know if I didn't, I would regret it later. Shortly off the ferry I was stopped due to some construction work. I recognized a friends car. I pulled over and sure enough it was! Just then I felt so excited too not be alone anymore! Not only that, my friend Ann found me a place to stay! At her friend Caroline's house. No more mice! No more sleeping in my car! I gratefully accepted this offer. Caroline went out to a potluck dinner that night, so I found myself sitting in her home alone writing again eating the same ole tuna kit that I've been eating for days. Caroline offered for me to make use of her home and her kitchen however I was content with my tuna. I did not want to impose. After a few hours Ann and her husband picked me up to go play rock songs bingo. With people! Music! Interaction! AND I won bingo! Yay! 

*Ann is a very caring lovely woman who is so unconditional. I call her my other mother and it was so nice to visit without having children by my side. In fact every visit I had was purely enjoyable. During rock bingo I tried for the first time deep fried pickles. Disgusting! Why on earth would I pick deep fried pickles for my first normal meal!? I am crazy! For Ann.....I will see her again and more then likely with children. I cherished our time.


Disgusting!

*The next day Caroline brought me out for coffee. What a wonderful intelligent woman. We discussed editing, publishers and of course writing books. Caroline has published two children's books and now is writing her biography. I was honored when she asked me if I could pre-read her beginning and give her my honest opinion. Me? I thought, "Wow, yes I will" I loved discussing about writing, even down to how we come up with titles. Titling my posts always become clear half way or at the end of a post. Caroline shared some of her life with me and so did I. It was truly an honoring experience that I will cherish forever. This alone journey inspired me to write once again. Journals have always been in my blood. Caroline just confirmed that I need (as her) to continue to follow our passions and our dreams as she is. It's work. Writing a book isn't easy. Especially when your sharing what's raw and real. For most of us, it's not only accomplishing a dream, it's a healing process. 

*My week journey has been out of this world. A reaffirmation to continue what I've been doing for over decades now - writing. Turn this dream into a reality. OH BOY, I have a lot of research and work ahead of me trying to find a publisher that believes in me. 

*I waited two sailing waits before I touched base on Vancouver Island. It allowed more time to reflect on my experiences. Interestingly enough now that I'm around people, I chuckle about the hard time I was having alone. I loved my friend squirrel and even the mice that I couldn't handle (as I reflect) it's like a comedy show. Anything else that was in the woods, it shall remain a mystery. I didn't and don't need to know anyhow. My last day before I picked up the boys from camp I spent shopping for two of our children's birthdays. Reality is setting in. There is a reason why we are given the path we're on. Even with the different forks chosen or not, our lives usually become clear. We just have to trust and be patient with our journey. 


"May the force be with us all"

*Bitter sweet feeling going from one extreme to another. Sometimes it's nice to try different life scenarios to reconfirm that your life is on the right track. Even when I travel, and as much as I love traveling, experiencing new things, there is no place better then home or where your heart is. I was born a caregiver. I knew it when I started lining up all my stuffies and baby dolls on my bed when I was a little girl. I knew I was a writer since as young as I can remember. One of my fondest memories was receiving my first old clunky typewriter (where the keys would stick) at the age of twelve. I have had a callus on my right middle finger for decades. I knew I was different in my own unique way, hence why I walk proudly for not only myself but to show others to be proud of who they are. To be different and shine it well. I am a good person now heading home to carry on my legacy. 

*For my first and last night I stayed at my brother Joey and Cheryl's house. A brother I'm just getting to know. I regret not knowing him however there is no time like the present. Joey seems like a kind and gentle soul. He's easy to love, he must be my brother!

"Listen to your heart...follow it"

*Just before picking up my boys I had still a few hours to spare. I hummed and hawed over messaging a friend. I find myself procrastinating a lot! So I stopped. I picked up that phone! We had a very nice visit reconnecting again like time never passed. I am so glad that I contacted her. If you ever find yourself procrastinating, try to stop. You'll miss out on beautiful friendships and opportunities. Take them while you can. Live in the moment when you have it. It can result in something so meaningful, so honoring and this moment was. I will always love my friend Carla. A strong and inspirational woman. 


My friend and I. It doesn't matter, time continues and so does our friendship. 

*To conclude, (if you made it this far) life is about "this moment" It's about taking today and looking forward to our future. It's about all the experiences we allow ourselves to have and too really love and rejoice with not only ourselves, each other. We are all uniquely different and some of us love to be alone, and some of us not so much. Whatever, whenever our heart pulls, we should follow and embrace that. Don't be afraid to challenge yourself, we don't know who we really are until we do. At this moment I know that being in solitude in the bush fighting off mice is not for me. However I do like talking to squirrels and Eagles. I love writing and sharing my thoughts and pictures. Someday I will have that book I publish. For now, I continue to take the steps forward following my heart in what and where it leads. If my direction shifts, I will follow. I can always turn the page and start a new chapter. Love to you all, and I hope you enjoyed my unedited week journey adding a few enlightenment's along the way. 

* "Appreciate life as it happens. Moments will soon pass and you will wish you had treasured them more" AND that being said, reflecting back, I cherished every moment - even if I was paranoid on and off developing some anxiety along the way. I met a new friend, Caroline. I visited long term ones. My heart will always remain open. Most importantly, I will also start loving myself more.

*Ending off my week, my nephew Brandon married his teenage sweetheart. It was a beautiful wedding and a very emotional experience as everything came pouring out of me. (The wine was a part contributor) lol Just seeing every one, visiting and having some fun celebrating was the best conclusion to this week. A great ending for me, and a new beginning for Mr. & Mrs. Aucoin.  Congratulations! 



*If it wasn't for my husband and my supportive family....this post "this experience" maybe wouldn't have happened. I am grateful.