Growing up in Mississippi was weirder than Austin ever claims to be...
I grew up in the DEEP south where you drive past cotton Fields and one room shanty shacks that look like you’re in a Third World country.
I grew up on a road so dark at night you’d swear you were driving straight into a black hole.
Our small town (pop. 6,000) was 50% White people 50% Black people and the whole town knew about “The Jarjoura’s” because my father and his brother were THE only Lebanese immigrants.
Then when my parents lost their son, Jordan, in a car wreck, the town dedicated the baseball field to him. And the public library had a memorial. My dad had to shut down his Antique furniture refinishing Business because grief is hard.
For some reason, my mom woke up from her coma (she was in the fatal wreck, too) and decided to have another baby.
She had twins.
I entered this small Mississippi town with a big weight on my back. A half Lebanese, twin, with a tragic family, and the already-given-title, our Mother’s “Summer Hope”.
But my life didn’t feel hopeful. It felt creative and muddy and sticky and bittersweet.
I got made fun of by the black kids because I was white. I got made fun of by the white kids because I was Lebanese. I never felt like I fit in.
I still don’t.
Summers with 90% humidity and not a drop of rain. Winters with 2 feet of snow and ice storms that broke whole trees. This has shaped me.
At this point, having just entered into my 31st year of living, I feel tired of distractions and I see now that it’s because they aren’t a part of my being.
I’ve been in a web of distractions (some call it a “city”) for 7 years now and this cycle has run its course.
Austin is the only city I’ve ever lived in.
After I graduated high school (class of about 100 students), I moved to another small (pop. 10,000) dry-county town- this time in Arkansas. Batesville was nestled in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains and it felt like home; it was a stone’s throw away from a place I’d been as a kid.
Growing up, we would camp each season, near Mountain View, Arkansas- The Folk Music Capital of the World.
We’d pitch our family tent right by the Sylamore Creek that empties into the White River. Sometimes we’d canoe and watch fish swim right below. Most of the time, we played in the creek and floated on our backs down the white water.
A snake (water moccasin) bit my sister when we were about 8. She was a tough cookie and stepped on it before it injected any venom into her ankle. But it gave us all a big scare. Afterwards, our folks took us to the giant Wal-Mart in town and bought her a bike.
I think they thought those pink handlebars would soothe the fear right out of her.
Mountain View, the folk music capital of the world, had a way of captivating me. Before I ever learned how to play guitar, I was mesmerized by the old bluegrass jam sessions that we’d go to, on the square. Every instrument, every old person in the south, it seemed, would congregate in different circles and play their hearts out.
It shaped much of who I am, growing up in Mississippi, the birthplace of the blues, visiting Mt. View, and then spending 4 years of college there- the mountains and the music are threaded into my soul.
My college had literally 600 students, TOTAL. It was tiny. But I felt at home there, nestled in the mountains, with just a short drive to be able to backpack and camp and kayak and ride.
As I look back on my life, I see the adventures that I’d forgotten about:
-white water rafting on the Okee River
-riding bareback into a pond and swimming with horses
-backpacking through the Ozark Mountains
-camping in Yellowstone and driving up to Canada
-backpacking for a month through Europe with barely anything
-hiking in Muir Woods and finding dewberries for snacks
-driving the ring road in Iceland
-leading women’s New Moon Ceremonies after accepting my obsession with sacred ritual
-training to be a Yoga teacher and finding my voice in teaching
-swimming in the ocean in Mexico
-hiking through an ice cave in Switzerland
-falling in and out of love and experiencing (step) parenting for a short bit
-helping 6 women successfully conceive their sweet babies
-getting sunburned on the beach in Barcelona
-starting my business with a cheap website and a dream to help women embrace their periods
-shopping in the markets of Rome and seeing the art in Florence
-camping in Colorado and eating cannabis filled stroup waffles while deer ate grass beside me
-running through prairies in Coeur d'alene, mad as hell
-getting and then quitting my dream job
-summers in Asheville, getting bit by mosquitos and singing my heart out to God
-exploring indigenous caves in New Mexico
-sweating in Arches National Park and feeling like I was on Mars
-digging crystals in Arkansas
-hiking to skinny dip in hot springs in Jemez Falls
-7 days in New York City looking at art I could never create
-summers with family in California and day trips to San Francisco
-seeing the beauty and feeling the vastness of the Taos Mesa
-taking a roadtrip with 2 strangers and leaving with a forever friend
I remember it all so well. And over time, I’ve forgotten it so well.
I moved to Austin when I was 22 and my dreams were different then. I regret nothing. I found my purpose in Lunar Nourishment.
But it’s time for me to come home to myself.
It’s time for me to step outside of Lunar Nourishment and let it run itself. It’s time for me to take down my hair, put on my flowered dress, and head for the sunset and undeveloped land. it’s time for to really focus on what feeds my soul; traveling, music & singing, being in love, and vastness all around me. No more trying to keep up with distractions.
I see so clearly where I’ve been and I am so excited for where I’m headed.
Life is simply one big grand adventure and I am honored to feel it all.
Comment below and let me know some of your favorite adventures OR what you want to bring into your life!