This really happened.
So there I was this afternoon, on the back of a jet ski rising and falling through giant ocean-like swells in Island Park, my frozen fingers clinging to the driver for dear life, sputtering as sprays of icy water hit me in the face, and I thought to myself, “how did I get here?”
Did I mention it was only 40 degrees? Did I mention I was wearing waders, a winter jacket and a rain slicker over my clothes? Waders. Really. How did I get here?
Two Weeks Ago
Two weeks ago I was a native Orange County, California girl – a beach lover and avid hiker, sure, but not the kind of girl who ever thought I’d be wearing waders. In Idaho. In 40-degree weather.
Two weeks ago I was Director of Marketing & Events for a commercial real estate association (sounds fancy). Two weeks ago I wore 5″ heels and carried around a designer handbag (also sounds fancy).
I’ve barely worn makeup since the move – just eyeliner once or twice. And I definitely haven’t worn any 5″ heels. In Orange County I would have gotten some looks for not doing those things, but here it would be seen as purely ridiculous (and definitely not fancy).
And now I’ve worn waders.
Wow. To say these past two weeks have been a huge life transition is an understatement.
But other than a small underlying fear of becoming some sort of gruff-talking, shooting-things back country girl, I’ve gained more than I’ve lost. Yes, I’m unemployed and my next source of income is completely uncertain… But. But.
I’ve seen an antelope, a vulture and a grebe. (Don’t worry, I didn’t know what a grebe was, either. Here’s one.)
I’ve been to the woods for the first time, hiked through those woods, seen fantastic radioactive-green moss, watched fishermen in the Snake River, and been hailed on (it hurts when it hits you in the face).
I’ve seen a pelican flying full speed, right overheard, just a few feet away, flapping and flapping and… dropping a fish the length of my arm back into the lake.
I’ve spent three days without a working cell phone and I haven’t missed it.
Maybe Activities That Require Waders Aren’t So Bad
I realize my new life won’t always be such a polar opposite to my old one – which is fine, really, because I like to get dolled up sometimes, and I like the convenience of being able to text my few close friends when I think of them, and waders definitely aren’t my sexiest look – but everything I’ve seen and experienced since I’ve moved has been a healthy reminder that there is much more to life than working and keeping up with the Joneses, a healthy reminder that I moved because I want a life with more.
And, most importantly, it’s been the reassurance I needed to know that this was the right decision. That I won’t just be getting by any longer. I’ll be out living and seeing and (occasionally) daring.
And maybe, just maybe, wearing waders and talking this fellow I know into teaching me to fly fish.
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