Be independent. Blaze your own path. Go forth and conquer. These phrases aren't for me anymore. Years of my life have been spent attempting to prove that the norm is bullshit. After some exhaustive pushing against the grain, I've realized that the norm is usually the simplest path to what you want. Cause let's face it, we all kinda want the same things. We want to be loved. We want to be considered attractive, smart, funny, and capable. We want people to understand us and to be able to return that understanding. If you know what's good for you, you end up wanting money. Most of us want someone to share it all with and then biology kicks in and you end up wanting some kids too. If you can escape the bio-tick, most people seem to end up wanting something to take care of, be it pet or career.
That all being said, sometimes my neurons still shoot off opposite my desire and I find myself off the beaten path. This time quite literally. It's snowy and cold here in Wyoming but not enough to be skiable. Filling my days has been a challenge. After a bunch of sitting around and a horrible amount of why have I even been placed on this Earth thought, I remembered that I'm a burgeoning badass and I can't let less than ideal conditions keep me from at least training. Plus, my dvd player broke. For a while I was filling my time watching Shakira video's on youtube, trying to train my hips. Still trying. My hips do lie. They say, I have the soul of a little white woman and not a Latina. Only time will rectify. As I waited for my hips to catch up with my soul, I figured I should at least walk up something.
Trudging my butt up Snowking I saw a bouncy, flouncy familiar figure. A mass of silver curls tumbling onto a body that could belong to a toned twenty-five year old but instead belongs to my mid-forties co-worker. She is one of the Jackson enigmas. Those who look and seem so very much younger than their number due to exuberant, active, healthy living. Before my new job, I worked at the Mangy Moose, which pretty much hires on looks. None of the lovely girls there where commented on at work as much as this woman I work with now. With no make-up and no scandalous outfit, this woman has more people exclaiming that she is beautiful. As I watched her practically skip down the mountain I was inspired. I don't just want to walk up something, I want adventure and fun. I want to challenge myself so that I keep my child-like enthusiasm. That's when I decided to go up the mountain on the less traveled path, Ferrin's.
It's not as if this trail is wild and reckless, just less traveled. Apparently, very much less traveled when snow has fallen because once I headed off on the trial, all human footprints vanished and soon I was following the cute little hop-prints of bunnies. Just me and the wild. That's right. I thought about my nick-name, Jessica Rabbit. I fit in here. I thought about my awesome friend Chase who fears no off-track hike and can identify all the animals tracks and poop. This must be how he got his outdoor intelligence. Just go out there and see what you find. Soon the bunny tracks were intersecting what must have been deer prints, there little spindle legs poking into the snow. As I fancied myself a real outdoor woman, I looked up to find that a moose about twenty feet away had already spotted me.
Moose are relatively harmless animals that only attack occasionally. At least that's what I've gathered over the years. You don't want to startle them and you don't want to get in between them and their babies. Don't know if I startled this one because I was imaging myself as a bunny. As I tried to figure out if I should go forward or back, my eyes grazed over his little one nestled down behind some bushes in the snow. Hmmmm... Not ideal. To me, huge antlers are the same as a person casually possessing a gun. Like a cop who always has one visible. I don't care if they aren't going to shoot me. I know they could and I proceed with caution. Pulling on the only etiquette I know, I said to the moose, "Hello. I'm just going this way." Gestured with my had the path and walked on by, keeping my eyes on the big moose. The moose started chewing again, which I took as a good sign.
Almost running into large animals is part of getting out in nature. Some people love it and strive for an encounter. I prefer trees. They are beautiful, wild, and far less threatening. Snow exposes so many prints that I have never seen before. The bunny and dear weren't the only animals using the ease of the cleared path to get around. Soon I was seeing what looked like dog prints but why would there be a dog without a human? Some tiny squirrel scratchings were visible. The trial was becoming over-run with the reminisce of my furry companions. I was hurrying along hoping to make it to the top of the mountain where I could cut over to the more traveled path down Snowking and avoid seeing the big moose again. As I neared the top, the prints got really big. Hoofs I can generally handle, but these were large paws. What has a big paw slightly larger than my own hand? Because I don't know all that much about wild animals, except that I like to avoid them, I'm not sure. All I can think is bear. Oh, God, bear. Trapped between a known moose and possible bear. This is where the less traveled path always seems to lead. Dang, dang, dang. After a few moments of trying to discern which way the big paws were traveling, I accept that I don't know anything and I better just go back from whence I came. Aka: Mooseville.
I scurry down the path, about the same speed and the joyous skip I hoped to emulate but powered by fear. When getting close to where I think the moose and babe were I start saying, "Hello? Umm, hello?" As this time the moose will say, "Oh, you again. Have a nice day." When I do get to the moose, he has done me a courtesy and laid down, making him seem a lot less threatening. As I pass by, once again gesturing with my hand my intended path, the baby moose rises to his feet, as if to follow me. WHY? I keep on walking with my hand up to say, "Oh, please don't get up for me." Quickly shuffling back down the path destroying all previous prints.
I guess it's hard to find an untraveled path. You just gotta hope that who or whatever traveled it before you is nice and doesn't want to trample or eat you. There is a snow storm dumping on Jackson today. Thank you Lord for an excuse to go out to lunch and do some shopping. Today I choose a well worn path of my past, but who knows what wild hair I'll get tomorrow. As much as believe in my mind that the easy path is the best, something in my fiery Latina soul just won't let me stay on that trail.