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Below is the last, unfinished, (until now) unpublished entry of my travel blog turned confessional of 2015. It doesn’t mark the end of the story – it’s likely the story of the three months I spent in America will remain unfinished like so many other stories. It doesn’t really say anything terribly important, but there’s a level of honesty that makes it worthwhile to me.

I remember hearing an interview with someone where they talked about writing from the scar instead of from the wound. How it is so much easier to do that. It’s easier to admit the past you was fucked up than it is to admit the present you is fucked up. It’s also easier to frame something as ‘lesson learned’ than ‘I have no fucking clue what to do’. Writing from the scar lets you feel wise. Writing from the wound makes you feel exposed. This was written from a very freshly healed scar, with very friable tissue. I feel like it deserves to at least make it into a post, however late.

There were periods in the past, say, year and a half, when I, as I termed it in my journal, found myself ‘quietly obliterated’. The most intense experience of this happened somewhere between buying my plane ticket to the US and leaving everything behind. But the emptiness overtook again at intervals, and one of those was while I was staying with Blossom. I tried to stave it off. I tried to be fine. But there is no halting obliteration in progress. I attempted to function like a normal human while all my thoughts became petty distorted echoes in my head, enveloping me in a fog of noise, until I finally folded. I’m sure it looked like depression, if anyone was looking, but it wasn’t depression. I was simply being confronted once again with a truth I needed to accept. That what I wanted didn’t matter. That I was at the mercy of this gigantic, omnipotent, expansive universe within which everything was created and destroyed. That I knew nothing. And that I could choose to fight and suffer, or surrender to its greater wisdom.

So, a battle raged within me, while outwardly I did very little of anything. Instead of writing in my journal about quiet obliteration, I wrote about being okay but not okay, being sick of the story, and getting started tomorrow. Trying to convince myself that I could totally be a normal human and add some value to these people’s lives while I was here.

I spent time in the pen with their new horse a couple times a day, but I was scared to start any ‘real’ training because, ultimately, I’d lost all faith in who I was. I didn’t want to risk leaving them with something worse than a blank slate, and I was only there for a week. I tried to recreate the horse-vision I’d had at Mustang Camp, but I didn’t have it in me anymore.

I attempted to short-circuit the whole thing by reactivating my OKCupid account and reaching out to one guy to tell him I was a little bit in love with him. ‘Just a little bit. Nothing to worry about.’ I said this specifically for two reasons. I wanted to test my crazy judgement and find out if I could get away with what I thought I could get away with. And I wanted connection. Fast. Now. Before it’s too late. Keep me human. The guy in question responded with equal enthusiasm, and some bold suggestions were made, but it petered out pretty fast when logistics wouldn’t play. I can’t say I was especially bothered. So I felt oddly surer of my sanity, but back to teetering on the edge of self-imposed isolation.

This wasn’t what I’d imagined when I’d been galloping through Santa Fe in my mind, but I couldn’t even face the thought of going there right now. Blossom’s house became my sanctuary, but I was filled with shame at that. I mostly tiptoed around, trying not to alarm any of the army of toy dogs who resided there, because I couldn’t face the noise. I retired to my room with excuses of writing to do or plans to make. I avoided people frequently because I didn’t know what I could say. I wasn’t being the kind of guest I wanted to be, but there wasn’t really anything I could do about it.

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