while you’ve been out
ive been growing like a plant from the dirt, like a forest after fire, like pain back to brilliance
but have you noticed – whats happened to me?
where there were scars there are smiles, where there was insecurity there is solid foundation, where there has been shakiness and fear and anxiety there is all of that but now there is power, there is voice, there is strength
do you know me
hi, im heather
hi, I love to climb straight-up hikes, switchbacking to the heavens, sweat teasing my mouth with saltiness, mountain views that make me cry, I love hopping rivers rock-by-rock, I love resting at the top for hours to take in the beauty of the challenge, I love running back down the mountain, and I love
risk. in many forms. it makes me feel alive.
and I love dancing, did you know that? I could dance for hours, the beat in my bones and the joy of movement in my body, I love dirt-bass-grime beats, I love headbanging and intoxication, I love losing myself in a crowd, I love bonding with strangers through our excitement for zomboy and troyboi and porter, I love seeing that side of humanity that’s dying for connection and something deeper and finds it in light shows and notes and harmonies and sounds that resonate in my rib cage
and I love
laughter – over nothing, over ourselves, over life. All the time, the more laughs the better. I don’t care what we look like, laughing ourselves into oblivion, don’t you know this is the only way to scare away the shadows?
And I love
outside. Why eat a meal at the table when I have a dock? Why would I sit inside when the door opens out, why would I listen to microwaves and laundry-machines when there are birds chirping and waves crashing and sun to feel and flowers to smell? There are sunsets to fall asleep to and moons to wonder at and I want to know where the clouds are blowing to and what animals live under the dock and why the spider lives in my car and how to grow my plants as tall as me and nothing is more magic than the fern bush outside this window or the seal chasing fish through the ocean or three bald eagles swooping over me as I float on my back in the middle of the lake
And I love the wind in my hair, on my bike, out of car windows, in little mototaxis through the jungle
And I love travel – by myself – I love the joy of a bus ride to anywhere along twisty dirt mountain roads, no railings, no one expecting me, just views to inhale and people to meet and lives to imagine
And I love my job and my future – I think if I follow my joy it will lead me to a career that will make things better and that’s already happening and I knew that I was on track and now its panning out, really
And I love who I am, right now, always. I love who ive become and I love this life I am leading and I cant bring myself to apologize for any of it, for the smile as I push up the mountain trail, for the joy of late-night pie and morning-after stomach aches, ill always want to run away and lay in the sun by myself, and blast flosstradamus as I drive through the smoky city skylines and wonder at the end of the world, every day is magic and im in love with life.
And I love to write because this is who I am, these are the words I haven’t spoken but I must, the ones that say I cant and wont be quiet anymore, theres too much living to do, theres too much to me to hide, I don’t care about documenting the moments I just want to drink them in like water on a hot day, and I cant think of anything more radical than saying,
here I am! this is me! listen up, I say ‘no’ now!
And I laugh at silly dogs and I laugh at myself and I eat ice cream six days a week. I write every day and I meditate as much as I can and I like slow yoga and books and feminist television and I just cant be mad about things much, except for when its invalidating me
And I feel this depth of pride and happiness and I think its something like self-esteem, do you see?
Because I love all of these things and I am proud of them.
I love all of these things and I love me.