Bear-Crawling Through May All the Way to Tahoe

On Thursday afternoon at 5:46 p.m., Paul and I started our long trek across the country. Our plan was to make it to Coralville, Iowa our first night, Rock Springs, Wyoming the second and our Tahoe home, Granlibakken in Tahoe City, California before nightfall on Saturday. All of the planning, packing, strategizing boiled down to this epic road trip with the Jeep packed so tight the back of it skimmed the back tires every time the road dipped a bit. The food was lousy, we didn't sleep much at all in our modest hotel rooms with lumpy pillows that didn't have any familiar smells, we ran out of good music as the internet failed through the most rural parts of the country, but once we made it to our Tahoe Home, things changed.

I don't know who put it in my head that I can't have exactly what I want but I've been riding this notion that I have to compromise. Bad love is better than no love. Bad friends are better than no friends. Bad jobs are better than no jobs. Dream big, but dream realistic. Make money and do what you love on the weekends. No one is going to pay you to do what you want. And the biggest, most debilitating lie that I've taken as the truth: plan for everything, always and have 9 plans for everything, always.

People just fall in line with all of this. They take it as the truth and anyone question it, they just come up with 492 examples of how that didn't work.
"Well my cousin tried to write from home and she lost her house!"
"Well my brother moved to California and he had to move back because it was so expensive!"
"Well what are you going to do if you can't find a job? What if what if what if?"

No wonder no one ever leaves. It's too scary, uncertain, full of variables, no deal.

On Sunday, I was standing on the side of a mountain looking down at Lake Tahoe with my husband and two of the greatest friends I've been given.  I veered off the path and laid in a hammock on the side of a mountain. I threw a snowball in May while getting sunburned. I drank coffee on a dock with my feet dangling above the prettiest body of water I've ever seen (sorry Lake Michigan). I took more pictures than I have in three months. All in 5 hours, I had the best day of my whole year. And  I even forged a river by bear-crawling a log.

That wasn't easy. Eve and Alex went first and flew right to the other side. I took two steps and started shaking. I turned back.
I was shaking like I was standing in a cave of snow.
I started thinking about everything that could happen.
What if I end up in the river? What if I'm swept away? What if I hit my head on the log and die?
I took a deep breath and bear-crawled it. One hand at a time, one knee at a time, without looking down, I finally made it to the end. We high-fived. And I saw views I've never seen in my life, all made possible by that log that I bear-crawled.

And it took me being out of the mountains a mere 25 hours to go back to compromising.

What if I don't find a job? What if we're so poor we can't pay our bills? What if Oatmeal has to eat the discount hay because we can't afford the orchard hay? And once you let the what if's in, they don't stop.

But after watching baseball with my dad and eating some farm asparagus, I tried to clear up my brain.
A little Tahoe wisdom brought back from thee most beautiful place in the universe:

It's the biggest sham in the world to think you have control of anything that matters. Even if you live in the same place you're whole life, and there's nothing wrong with that, life is a variable. And we find solace in keeping our routine the same because it gives us the illusion of control.

But you are not in control. Sorry, Charlie.

Everyone talks about how I'm so brave for just leaving on faith, but I'm just as scared as anyone would be at this time in their life. I don't have an address. I don't have an apartment. I don't know where I'll be working in August, where I'll be next year, what I'll even be doing in three months. These are more variables than I've ever had in my whole life.

But I can sit here and be scared of strangers at the Kroger on Monroe or I can really make my fear work and move across the country. If I'm going to be scared anyway, I might as well make it count and have a mountain on my side.

Because I don't have control of the big things. I could choke on a ham sammich tomorrow. I could die in a fiery plane crash. A stranger could murder me next year. And I truly believe that if I need a job, I'll get a job. If I need an apartment, I'll find an apartment. I believe that things will be okay. Because even if I believe or I don't, life's going to do whatever it wants anyway. So why not look at what could happen instead of what couldn't?

So here it is: if you want to do something, if you want to pack up your car and be in a place that makes you smile ear to ear and say, "Oh my god" like you can't believe this place exists, or you just want to not have a terrible job, then just do it, change it. You might fail but at least you tried. And there's also a huge chance that you'll do great things and get exactly what you want.

I'll figure it out. I always have. And in the mean time, I'm going to see some of the most amazing things I've ever seen with the other half of the Yonaus home in time for dinner.