"Are you a skier," the delicate Asian woman glowing behind the sandwich counter asked me. She must have noticed my Kirkwood, California snowboarding hoodie.
"Snowboarder," I replied.
"I envy you," she said.
This brief exchange caught me off guard. In that moment, I realized I am something to someone. "Thank you," I replied. "Snowboarding is a lifestyle. It makes me happy."
Life is a creative process. It's not about finding yourself; it's about creating a person you can be okay with. Really, truly okay with. It is building a home to inhabit—the temple of your familiar. For three decades, I have been creating a home inside and outside myself. This level of abstract, architectural artistry takes time.
There was one time as a young girl I got lost in a corn field. I entered because it was cool, a reprieve from the hot, Southern sun. I didn't expect to get lost. One never does. Sometimes life is like being deep in the heart of a field of maize and getting turned around. Each dead end calls for new direction and demands backtracking. I made it out. It was nearly an hour later, panicked and thirsty, but I made it out.
Lunch was over, and I left the sandwich shop. The exit was easy to find. I stepped outside into the bustling Wednesday street, folks of all statures moving about. As the panic and the "Am I ever going to find my way trough this maze?" thoughts came again and quickly subsided, I looked up to the sky, and shifted my attention to all the holy blessings of merely existing as I am, and I felt at peace. The narrow swath of existence I sometimes live, to simply be an observer of Earth and its natural wonders, might just be okay.
I've walked a hundred roads, bustling city streets, forested avenues lined by California Redwoods, and mountain trails. I've walked a thousand miles through lush countryside, dust beneath my feet and joy in my heart. I've been lost in a hundred mazes. Perhaps the hardest journey, though, is the path I walk to the temple—the pilgrimage to the heart of who I am, and the path to purpose.