Yosemite Valley Floor - Part 7


It feels weird to take charge. To prioritize my needs. To take care of myself. This is getting kind of ridiculous. This hike was supposed to be 20 miles and we cruise past that. My feet are screaming, so I stop, pull out my first aid kit, and handle it.

I don't make some big announcement, I don't keep hiking in pain, I just do it. And you know what didn't happen? I didn't get scolded. Nobody rolled their eyes.

I've written about "sabotaging the mission" before, something my dad used to say when we couldn't keep up at airports or were otherwise delaying in some way. I didn't realize how much that impacted me.

I've been operating in this mental limbo space - scared to make choices, scared to ask for help.

I observe my natural tendency to want to announce my every move before I make it, and my habit of explaining my mistakes out loud.

The first time I noticed I did this was in my improv classes in 2018. My instructor said "stop justifying your mistakes, you don't need to do that."

But in my world, I definitely did, at least growing up. If I didn't explain, then I was being a brat. If I didn't explain, the chances of getting grounded were 100%.

So to pull over and put a bandaid on my own blister, without announcing my pain or my plan, felt like a revolutionary act. And way less labor. Coming up with the story for why I need to pull over and why I can't tough it out for another step is exhausting, I just want to handle it. So I do. And everything is fine.

Now I'm making up for lost time. We finish the hike, high five, congratulate each other, and start making the drive out of the park. I bring up the baby sitter thing. I ask about the taking charge thing. I'm unapologetically asking for the clarification that keep me from ruminating and spinning this into something it's not.

Because that's a thing, too. Left to my own devices, my brain is WILDLY creative. If I don't ask for what I need: clarification, a conversation, the space and time I need to process a situation in the way I process, I spin.

It took me 23.75 miles around the Valley Floor, but I got the memo: I am capable of asking for what I need.

And, I'm capable of giving it to myself. 💚