There was a time in my life in which I dreaded to fall asleep for the knowing that the next day I would not want to wake up. That I would not be able to wake up. My body glued to the bed, my mind unable, not wanting to come alive.
Impossible it was to pull myself from the sheets, pick myself up, change my outfit and fix my appearance so that I may actively work the long day away.
How lost was this girl, how miserable she was fighting for a way to see the next step, to see her way to the other side, to a place of self fulfillment, and to finally reach some form of personal success. Lost in my mind, lost in the every day blur, lost, just simply.
I have always been a girl with bigger thoughts than understanding. I remember lying in my bed as a young teen trying to understand the biggest questions there are- thoughts of heaven of its eternity and it puzzled and saddened me so that I forced myself to block out the wondering, so unable to reasonably answer what one would do with an eternity of peace and problem less oasis, so beyond my young mind’s knowing.
Now thinking of myself in retrospect I do so appreciate my natural wanting to know and understand. I appreciate my wanting to dive into the darkest questions, and I see and feel the dark depths that lie inside, the places that can pull and hold, for they teach too.
Here at this time, I found myself held down tightly between the young adult that dropped out of college, with answers, and the grown adult that would achieve her dreams, still full of questions.
I could not see though, what I wanted or even how to begin, lacking the motivation, inspiration to push myself to, though always wanting to write, drawing nearer to my words only in short scribbles in a simple notebook that would soon after be replaced back on the shelf.
I tried though with each day to commit to myself. I saw myself truly and honestly and hated myself with each moment that continued. How I looked and talked and acted, every activity I was forced to do was a chore and a pain, and an endless mundane cycle.
Work, the dishes and laundry were cycles, daily and weekly and monthly and yearly reminders of my endless, continuous wheel.
I was stuck, deep, entrenched in my own mind.
I felt light bursts of relief as Garrett and I began to explore the world outside Alabama, taking our first road trip for my 24th birthday last August, and coming to dream of the sights and memories we made for six months until we were able to take our second road trip out to New Mexico through Colorado and back to Alabama.
The road, the air, the mountains, the trails, the campsites, the laughs and long nights we spent driving through the black, it filled my soul and lifted me from my sleep with such honest eagerness.
I felt whole and complete, I felt as if I was immersed in living and learning, and I grew instantly to crave it with an eternal hunger.
I am a sponge, this I’ve come to understand and accept, like a paper towel that falls on a wet spot I am incapable of not seeing, feeling, hearing, learning, questioning- all to see and understand further, connecting points of the smallest relevancy, this the very thing that fills me wholly.
So in traveling, in experiencing life first hand, I began to learn and understand this country, the people that live in the ever changing environments and ecosystems. This all feeding the writer within, breathing life and inspiration in to my mind.
This forcing the sponge to squeeze out its learned knowledge. Reproducing it for the world to see and learn and feel right along with me.
This pulled me from my stuck, stalled position, flinging open the windows of my soul, clearing my troubles with one swift blow.
And so we did follow this feeling, we did reduce our life to just a handful of important items, we did move across country to live freely from the land, we did haul our trailer 1500 miles and back again, through fourteen states and, once, over the worst imaginable mountain, we reached the west coast, we touch the southern boarder, we climbed the peaks of mountains and saw the snowcaps in July. All things did teach, did marvel, did inspire, all things came with challenges, with months of waiting and working to earn a living, of writing and pouring out from within all that I have to give.
I began to feel normal. To feel healthy, to feel my muscles building inside and out.
I felt for the first time in my life, the ease of waking and living, jumping, leaping from my bed in the morning, eager for the day, excited for more and more and more.
I feel this excitement even now, I feel too all the places we’ve seen and memories we’ve made, and they do motivate me even when we are not in motion.
I wish I could tell you all the moments we captured, all the the lessons we learned. The cold, hard struggles of being without, of being unable to leave our home for days at a time, stuck physically on top of a mountain. The feeling itself of being so endlessly cold, so unable to gain a comfortable warmth that coming back to it now feels spoiled and even unnecessary at times. To living without appliances and conveniences, a washer for clothes and running water for dishes, a girl without even a mirror to look in to.
All things that I sought and succeeded in living without, all things that came to teach great understanding and even greater appreciation, all things that have changed us completely forever.
I know more now, more than ever before, what we need to survive, to live happily, comfortably, how to fill our souls with everlasting happiness, and we have found it and will have to find it many times over, too.
Though even still, as the world does never cease to roll round, troubles appear from the blue. The motion of travel and learning cannot continue always, this we must accept, and troubles, problems of all kinds do arise, family problems, family illness, money, car mechanics and even more pressing problems such as the question of survival. All things that surface with an inevitable questioning fate in their own time.
And they did come to call us back from our own path. Back to the place that we left, the place we had pulled our stuck selves from once before.
And came to force the question of how do we continue this journey, continue moving ahead when life itself will only allow the back and forth between forward and stalled.
Ever idling between stuck and unstuck.
Even after all that we’ve seen and experienced the feeling does come creeping slowly in from the shadows once more, now even with a worsened scorn.
I look around and see many feeling it too. Feeling the days blur into weeks, feeling as though life is on repeat. I look around and see many who share my need for inspiration, for the winds to come sweeping through with a clean new.
And I as I say I have found it I say too it shall go again.
That it has gone again. That I am now stuck, not in the same way, not ever in the same way, but in an honest questioning, confused and uncertain way.
Though, I will continue on just the same, continue on in search of the answers, and I will not let the lack of knowing scare me from the determination of answering, still always trying with my hazed eyes to make clear the road ahead.
I refuse to allow a pause in our movement be the resolute end of our journey. I refuse to allow that negative feeling of questioning, of failure and the doubtful voice which calls for reevaluation to win my mind.
I will not be stopped here. I will take my stuck self and I will push it onward, outward, looking for more.
Looking for more and more and more, I say.
Pulled up and out of the trenches and pulled out further, if need be, never ceasing to push ourselves from one spot to the next, to move, inching along, continuing until at last we feel the free winds blow fresh life once more.
Words and photos by Brianna Holman
I'm Brianna, a simple, honest lady, finding my way through my mid twenties, writing, reflecting, questioning, and improving; always seeking to move forward, to push myself outside of my comfortable norm. Now with my husband and our eight dogs we've chosen to consciously live with less making possible our ability to travel across country in our Fleetwood trailer. I am an admitted, continuous work in progress, in search of more questions to answer, ways to understand, and stories that enlighten. I seek understanding in every aspect of life, I seek empathetic understanding for everyone in life. I seek to reflect an honest life and inspire humble thoughts.