Chasing Storms: Do I Really Want to Be Changed?
Why do I crave storminess?
I sit in calm beautiful ease and watch the horizon. Waiting. Impatient for a vibration that will unsettle it all. An electric current, a barometer drop, a pulse of air that hints of something wild. I feel it and my eyes narrow and light up, my pulse quickens, and I smile. This is my game. Fight-or-flight response blissfully engaged.
Like a racehorse left too long in the sweet green meadow, I feel as though I am awakening from a dream in which sappy goodness has slowed my body and brain to an almost insufferable pace.
I move naturally and easily toward the storm feeling the fog lift from my mind, feeling my joints crack, my muscles stretch, and my heart burst. Jonesing for the adrenaline/endorphin cocktail that has made its way back into my hungry veins, every piece of “12 Steps to Enjoying a Peaceful Life” wisdom fading by the second.
When the storms don’t come, I drive my well-used lightning rod deep into the earth and stand. Waiting. Defiantly. Feet hip distance apart, hands in fists by my side, chest lifted, eyes flaring. Bouncing from one foot to the next. Light. Agile. Preparing to strike or parry. I am not hardwired to be at peace, and I fuck it up all the time. Tranquility is unfamiliar territory. Contentment makes me uneasy.
I don’t even know how to interpret it, and I land on labels like boredom, stagnation, frustration, and irritation when I try to describe it. Part of me knows these are not quite right, but I still can’t make sense of it. I can’t seem to comfortably inhabit that space.
Is it that I crave easiness but don’t trust that it is real or don’t believe that it will last? Is it that I want to be the one who shatters it first so that I’m not caught unaware and unprepared? So I am not the one who loses? Feeling validated when the fight — that I have caused — inevitably comes.
Is it that I don’t truly crave it at all? And if that’s true, what does that mean? Who doesn’t crave peace, easiness, a comfortable life? What’s wrong with me? Why do I get antsy when everything is going well by typical standards?
Do I really want to gypsy my way through this life? Absorbing the colors and taste and energy of the people and places I encounter, and then moving on when there’s nothing left to take in? Leaving everything I have behind so I can start afresh, over and over and over again? Throwing myself back into the unknown to be reshaped and reconstructed in some new form? It sounds so destructive.
And, really how new is that form which I bring into the next space? The patterns all repeat because the core remains immutable. Am I looking for someone or something that can make some kind of dent on that core, some kind of lasting impact on this storm-chasing nature of mine? And back to the question above: do I really want to be changed?
I feel as though I’ve been writing this article since time began. Asking the same questions. Thinking the same thoughts. But here I am again, inhabiting a space that should be easy but is not, trying desperately to not fuck it up. This is part of the journey. Making sense of it all. Trying to sift through the distractions in my own head to figure out what is real and true and important.
Trying to wrestle control from my deepest darkest instincts so that my behavior becomes conscious. So that I actually make a choice. Ideally one that is in my best interest. Ideally one that allows me to navigate peaceful waters with skill and grace and gratitude.
Andrea Baker has a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology and once knew everything there was to know about Byron and Bundy. She is a certified Yoga teacher and ever-evolving student in Vancouver’s beautiful Yoga community. She has divided her life equally between Canada’s east and west coast … never living far from the sea. The ocean has influenced her writing, her Yoga practice, and her approach to life. She distrusts capital letters, loves sticking eka pada koundinyasana, and wishes she was just a tiny bit taller. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or her blog.