So…I started to write this post days ago, and so much has happened since then and I couldn’t decide which post to post. SO…this here bloggy is two (two, two) posts in one. The first one I wrote 2 days ago. The second one I wrote today. Here goes.

PART I: Driving Through Couer D’Alene, Idaho

In this moment I am driving through the forest lined highway of I-90 E traveling through Idaho, heading straight toward Glacier National Park in Montana. We just completed an absolutely gorgeous hike in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, whose summit showed us a sweeping view of forest, lake, and the bluest of blue skies. Country music is on the radio, and I have all the time in the world to think about stuff.

My thoughts turn to about six days ago when we were in Hood River, Oregon hanging out with ten amazing new friends. All cute, interesting, smart, fun guys, showing us a great time. We had planned on being there only one night, but extended our trip an extra night because we just couldn’t resist. And right as we were about to leave the following day, Natalie and I both considered canceling all of our next plans so we could stay in Hood River and hang out with the cuties some more. As a way of extending the excitement, extending the fun, capitalizing on the new friendships we forged and the adventures we projected would happen. And in a split second, we both looked at each other and knew that no matter how fun it had been, or how amazing it might have been if we stayed, it was time to go. Time to move on. To keep moving.

I think that we, as humans, do this all over the place in our lives; we have an amazing experience or meet somebody new and exciting and we want it to never end. And so we try to prolong the feelings, and hold on so tightly that the experience (or person) can barely breathe. But given that change is the only constant, that moment inevitably never stays the same. In a second, it’s a new moment. So, trying to hold on to it isn’t the point.

When I was leaving Costa Rica a few months ago and crying because I was so sad to leave, my friend Colin said to me, “don’t be sad that you’re leaving, be happy that you experienced it.” I knew he was right then, as much as I know he’s right now.

And these words feel never truer as we head out to a brand new state with the potential to meet brand new people and experience brand new amazing things. I’m learning that there is never a shortage of amazingness in the world. There is always someone more interesting than the last, some summit more breathtaking, some road that leads to some new place that I never knew I needed to go to, and if I just keep going on the path I’ve set out to go on, I will find it all. The misconception is that once you find something amazing, that it’s the only amazing thing in the whole wide world. And that’s just not true.

We’ll always get to have Hood River, those two days of balls to the wall partying, ping pong and fun, and they get to remain that way forever in our memory. That will never change. And now we get to just keep on driving, where there will be new people to meet, new experiences to be had, new hikes to be walked. and we get to just collect these memories one by one and smile and say “damn that was fucking fun.”

I’ve learned that ultimately and inevitably it’s time to move on. And that nothing lasts forever. Amazing experiences are isolated events that get to stay amazing in your mind. And that there are an infinite amount of amazing experiences to be had as long as you leave your house and let go of needing things to be a certain way.

If you don’t loosen your grip a little on where you’re at, you might never end up in Hood River, Oregon, or Coeur D’alene, Idaho, or getting flagged down on the 84E by a hottie rodeo cowboy named John (like we did) or see the most beautiful sunset over the mountains of Walla Walla, Washington.

And now…for those of you that want details on the trip. Here’s what I’ve been up to since I last wrote:

Portland, OR
-Played loud rock and roll with my old band mates
-Hiked LaTourelle waterfalls
-Had two BBQ’s with my family
-Saw my friend’s band play
-Ate pear and blue cheese ice cream (for reals!)
-Went to a pirate themed bachelorette party at Washougal River
-Boated down a different river
-Tasted my cousins homemade beer
-Cruised around in my old red beemer convertible
-Learned how to change transmission fluid

Hood River, OR
-Played Frisbee golf
-Played ping pong
-Rode in the back of trucks
-Saw a kiteboarding competition
-Spent the night on a winery in Lyle, WA (just over the river from Hood River)
-Country swing danced
-Learned how to do the RV tank dump
-Made a bunch of awesome new friends
-Danced to Top 40 at a local bar/Chinese food restaurant/laundry mat
-Played pool

Lake Oswego, OR
-BBQ’d at a friend’s house
-Went for a run where we saw llamas and horses and a Christmas tree lot
-Played drums and bass, jamming with a bunch of amazing musicians
-Stared at the stars on a night walk

Mt. Hood, OR
-Cruised my BMW convertible (that now lives at my cousin’s house in Portland)
-Went to an amazingly beautiful wedding of two girls who are madly in love
-Danced my butt off
-Realized that you can’t get gas after biz hours in Oregon since it is against the law to pump your own gas there (UGH!)

Couer D’Alene, ID
-Hiked Mineral Trails

Kalispell, MT
-pit stop for the night in front of a park

-Drove 300 miles out of our way to hike Glacier National Park only to find out that they won’t allow our big ass dog OR big ass RV in the park. So we turned around and went to Missoula. Oopsie

Missoula, MT
-Hiked the “L” trail
-Found level parking on Higgins and 5th and explored the downtown area, eating frozen yogurt
-Ran to the University of Montana, did pushups outside the RV, and situps in our beds
-Sat on top of the RV scoping out the good trucks rollin down the street
-Parked it at a coffee shop called Liquid Planet so we could plug our computers in (currently here, now)

PART II: Coffee Shop, Missoula, Montana

I cried yesterday. Under an umbrella, under an awning, which was at the beginning of a trailhead that led up to the “L” hike in Missoula, Montana. I had been sitting on a rock, on the phone with my coach, and she asked me what I wanted. And in that moment, all I wanted, so badly, was to know…everything. Know how my life was going to turn out. Know what I was supposed to be doing, right now. Know that I was going to be safe, and in love. I began to get sad, and feel all alone. In the middle of nowhere Montana, on a trailhead, with storm-looking clouds above.

I told her something I had been wanting. Love. To which she replied, “REALLY?! Because that’s not what you’ve been saying. I’ve heard you say everything else BUT that (“oh I want to travel, and be free, and work on my business, and explore”). If you want that, love, you must surrender to it, completely. Honey, you gotta ask for what you want from the Universe in order to get it.”

Shit. She’s right. I know that.

And then it began to rain. One drop, then two. Then a sheet of wet wet rain, getting all over me. I first thought I needed to go inside the RV to finish the call, but decided instead that I just needed to get an umbrella.

“SEE?!” she said. “Now THAT is what surrendering to love looks like.”

To give myself over to it, completely, even though I might get wet. Or hurt. Or struck by lightning. Not waivering. And instead of avoiding the wet or the uncomfortable, I just get to be creative on how to be in it.

So I noticed an awning, and took myself and umbrella under it, sitting on the graveled ground of the entrance to the “L” hike. I knew I needed help learning how to surrender. I’ve never done it before. I’ve never given myself over to love completely. Up to now I’ve always loved with conditions. I only want to love you if you love me back. I will stop loving you if you hurt me. If you make me feel something I don’t want to feel, I will close off my love to you. This is not surrendering to love. This is trying to control it. And it doesn’t work. And I don’t want to do this anymore, ever. It isn’t fair. Surrendering is the only way.

So I asked the Universe to help me learn how to surrender, and send me a sign. And in that exact moment, it began to hail.

I shit you not. Hard, quarter sized chunks of hail pounding on the roof of the awning, covering the entire ground, everywhere except where I was sitting. A small 2×4 spot was all that remained dry. And when I asked what the message was, what came to me was that “I am safe here.” That the Universe will take care of me in my surrender. And at that exact moment, the hail completely stopped.

My coach and I couldn’t believe it.

“Your ability to manifest and communicate is swift and complete” she says.

“Yeah, no shit.” I say.

“So keep asking the Universe for signs and messages.”

To which I did. Creating, thunder, lightning, wind, clouds completely enveloping me and moving over me and creating pictures in the sky. And then finally, sun.

And as I began to ask the Universe to let me know that I was going to be safe here on this journey, a slight but strong gust of wind comes up from behind, as if to push me forward. And literally, it moves me to take one step forward on the trail.

Keep moving, it says. Keep going. You’re safe. And I will take care of you. Don’t forget about me. Lean on me. I’m here for you.

I looked up at the sky. Thanked the Universe for all the messages. And with outstretched hands I declared, from my heart, to the Universe’s ears:

“I surrender to you. I surrender to love.”

And as I write this in Liquid Planet coffee shop in Missoula, Montana, I can’t keep from crying. I have no idea how to do this, but I know it must be done. It’s the only thing left to do. It’s the only thing I haven’t tried. The only thing left, here, under my umbrella, as the girl with dry feet after a rain/hail/thunder/lightning/wind storm.

This morning, the “Note From The Universe” read:

“It’s kind of strange, but first you have to know what you want, defined in terms of the end result. And then you have to physically move towards it, without defining the hows. At which point, the thing you want actually starts coming to you, on its own terms, from a direction completely unexpected.

Just carry on, detached from the details and timing, and perhaps act like you just couldn’t care less.”

This couldn’t have spoken to me more clearly.

Intention is secret. Surrender is the way. Keep going. And if you forget your umbrella, trust that the Universe will provide one for you.

You get what you ask for. So ask for things you want. And be clear. And then let it go.