Sunday, August 19, 2012


With a belly full of brunch on a wonderfully perfect Sunday morning, I'm drawn towards introspection.

Recently I've been missing California. The cooler weather and even cooler breezes lack the scent of an ocean, yet feel the same. The ocean is so far away now - and that, of all things, bothers me the most. I don't really care about beaches all that much, but I never realized how the simple sight of that body of water meant so much to me. And now, I cannot drive to see it. I have to fly.

My favorite place to see the ocean, Patrick's Point SP
I still really love Iowa, and no matter how much I miss California every now and again, I don't plan on going back. I've been thinking of my idea of 'Undaunted Conviction' when it comes to living here. I've grown accustomed to things, I feel I don't stick out as much, and the adventure part of it is not as 'exciting' and 'fresh'. And while I do go on adventures and seek fun things to do, it all lacks the shiny-newness this blog was first founded on. I live life in which all things are an adventure, and plan to continue this blog on that idea. But fewer things require an adventure to face, and what does life become when the adventure here is a more settled venture?

What I've come to find an 'Undaunted Conviction' has begun to mean is this hold on life I've slowly grown into because of coming to Iowa. I moved my whole life here, to a place I had no understanding of and where I knew no one. And on the other side, I found I have survived and I have thrived through something I never thought I could do. But moving to Iowa was just a capstone and manifestation of a whole year getting through shitty things and life changing realizations. And I truly mean life changing realizations and shitty things, the sort of things where I can look back and see the person I was before is no where near the person I am now. In the middle of something like that, you can't feel the ground and you can't see the sky, and you're torn between crying and running away and desperately wishing for everything to settle and go away. And then an opportunity in Iowa delivered me to a new start, where I could take the things I had learned and become the person I was always trying to be.

Weekly Game Night, full of things that save my soul.
Not to say that moving to Iowa answered my problems. In fact, your problems follow you no matter where you try to run. But here, I have been able to grow into myself, to live my life with the things I have learned, and to see things differently. I have a supportive group of people that can help me through things, who encourage me to grow, and push me forward to face my life and inner demons with the Undaunted Conviction that brought me here. Because let me tell you, dear friends, the inner workings of my mind are not a place for the weak and the hopeful. I fear facing my inner self so much so that any time spent alone I anxiously try to avoid the darkness full of anger and sadness that resides within my soul. This sounds dramatic, I realize, but it's true - I feel a soul-sucking loneliness at just the thought of being alone because of these inner emotions. Years of bottled up anger, sadness that cannot be solved, self-hatred in every form, and insecurities line the walls of my psyche. The insecurities are the worst lately - they eat away at everything good in my life. They make me question friendships in dark moments, reiterate the fear that I'm unlovable on too great of a frequency, and try their hardest to take away all that I've become now in Iowa.

And so I've come to realize that the Undaunted Conviction that brought me here is becoming a different thing. After spending so much time in the dark - not feeling, emoting, or understanding my life - I was forced to uncover that veneer. And now I'm left to face those exposed demons instead of pretending they don't exist. I have to acknowledge the reality of my past instead of the painted, pretty pictures I used to remember it as. I have to accept myself, and things, as they are. And I need to use that Undaunted Conviction to face my demons, my inner workings and insecurities, to continue to grow and to not fear the loneliness in such a detrimental way. I need the Undaunted Conviction to learn to be okay with myself and to truly love myself in all my manifestations.

Last night, I went to a Yawping. The idea came from a Walt Whitman poem, 'Song of Myself,' with this specific line:
"I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world."

The yawping was created to barbarically sound the ridding of past shitty things and to start life with a new, undaunted conviction. And so I yawped, with the following piece in mind:

I yawp to rid myself of insecurities.
I yawp to learn to love myself - all parts of myself, dark and sad, happy and cheerful, creative and free.
I yawp to accept my past, to no longer yearn for things that cannot be and to not let it define my future.
I yawp to let go of expectations and preconceived notions, to allow things to be as they are, and work from there.
I yawp in celebration of how far I've come, who I've left behind, and what I've grown to become and understand.
I yawp for a fearless future, of a stronger me, undaunted by the unknown, unchained by the past, open for what it may be and ready to be me.

Life isn't always easy. And I've come to find it never will be settled. I'll always have challenges and shitty things, but I know that if I face it with the same Undaunted Conviction that got me here, if I see what I've already come through, then I'll be okay. I'll come out okay in the end. And so I see myself moving forward, knowing what I can accomplish, hesitantly embracing the loneliness, and looking for the sunshine on the other side of this very long and dark road.


  1. awesome christy! can i recommend a book? "women who run with the wolves" by clarissa pinkola estes. i'm reading it now and i think it would speak to you :) xo from brazil!