Wednesday, May 18, 2005


jessie strong
This is a picture of my dear friend Jessie standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon. Last night I went over to her home in the Castro. We talked most of the night about how we want to re-harness our strength.

Jessie is soon making a new transition to the beautiful state of New Mexico. There she will study massage and see what waits for her with her relationship and new healing and discoveries.

Four 1/2 years ago, she and I packed up our art car in Boston {started by some neighborhood teenage girls and then subsequently added onto along our road-trip} and headed West for Cali! Our sites were set on San Francisco, but our motto was "Nothing Short of Ecstasy". Which sounds so over-the-top now, but we felt it. No point in landing somewhere unless... we were ecstatic about it.

In the beginning I was incredibly anxious to leave, not knowing what lay ahead and not having my family close by, or any real support systems, and feeling utterly dependent on Jessie. I was so sure she would ditch me for someone more exciting. Jessie is a serious social magnet, and me a bit more shy. Plus I wasn't even sure I knew how to drive! I had some mega fears about passing trucks and subconsciously, or not, thought I might meet my birth father's fate by dying in a car accident. That sounds crazy putting it down on screen, but every time I felt nervous about passing a truck, I had the reality tucked inside that with one clumsy move, you might be a goner.

So there were no car accidents. Only one time sleeping on the side of the road in a strange town, most of the route was planned out between friends, campsites and two hotels. Gradually the layers of fear and inhibition peeled away. Gradually, we did with less. Increasingly we welcomed new adventures and an openness filled us.

You want to go on an alligator swamp tour? Sure! Do you want to learn two-stepping with Dallas gay men? Totally. Wanna learn Hebrew songs and celebrate Yom Kippur? Yep. Would you like to build a 5 foot tower out of Twinkies? You betcha.

When we arrived in San Francisco we were at the height of our exhilaration and openness, and we were met with the creativity and free-flowing times of the end of the dot-com. Friends told us we too could make 125K {that's entry level!} and that they were handing away jobs at the airport for start-ups. The parties were plentiful and everyone offered up their couch, because god forbid finding an apartment in this town!

We couch surfed for months, thrilled to have a little corner of the floor. We awoke every morning and explored the hills, drank big lattes, did free bikram yoga, took taste tests for pay, cut our hair off, wore our cowboy hats regularly, made little art projects, flirted-- it was so exciting and new!

How do we get back into that headspace of open-ness and excitement for our daily adventures? Perhaps by taking daily risks and putting yourself out there. Following your heart. Digging for your most authentic path. Working through the anxiety of change and allowing yourself to trust in the future.

I need to remember this. Jessie my dear, you go and follow IT. It will be scary, and it will be uncertain, but a new stronger self will emerge. I believe in you!


maria said...

what a great post! thank you for sharing. reminds me of the bond i have with my dear friend arc! i think you're right about life. most days you just have to breathe deep and be brave ... challenge yourself, you know? thanks for making me think on this as i get ready for a big weekend in NYC ... a place that somewhat intimidates me still. cheers! mav

Martha said...

What a beautiful post and perfectly expressive photo. Accepting a challenge is so good for the soul. (Something I need to remind myself of often.)

Good luck Jessie.

Cindy Ann Ganaden said...

Just wanted to say thank you for the word of encouragement!! :)

filthy cute! said...

that was a great post . . . it's expresses my idea of good friends. :-) and, that pic, wow! your post made me a little less afraid of my plans to ditch sea-town for honolulu next month!

be easy,

emily mc said...

mati, it's true: that is an awesome post. So beautifully written and heartfelt and it totally made me think about a similar time in my life. the kind of flexibility and openness and wonder at life i need to keep in mind, too, as we leave for SF in 36 hours! Good luck JR!!!

also, your website rocks, as does its content. and i know i should have posted this comment way back under the "10 things" post, but I love that you wrote about driving to moline and me belting out that song from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert!! I remember on the trip back it was so cold that we kept having to scrape ice off the INSIDE of the car windows!

xo, emily

Goddess of Leonie said...

s t u n n i n g