A month ago, I posted an excerpt from Struggle Central. It was one of my more insecurity-inducing posts, as the memoir penetrated the surface of my struggles from camp last summer — struggles I only vaguely referenced on this blog before diving into them headfirst with my book.
That particular Struggle Central excerpt featured the heart-racing, chill-inducing, gaze-gathering day when I opened the rickety door of a dining hall filled with dozens of unmet men.
A year ago today, I was in North Carolina. It was the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, and I was driving down a winding road that led to a driveway with a massive gate. That balmy afternoon in which I was late to staff check-in, I stepped from my car and I stutter-stepped toward a dining hall filled with socializing dudes.
A year ago today, I reached for the rickety door I didn’t at all want to open.
A year ago today, I opened that door.
Writing about such a seemingly simple moment in the context of a mere blog post and not the breadth of a struggle-centric book seems unfitting. If you’ve read the book, you might get it now — get me. If you haven’t, you probably won’t.
But now that my book is out — now that my life is “out” — I certainly hope to blog more about those plentiful struggles o’ mine.
Perhaps today represents more than a simple camp anniversary. Perhaps today is a pivotal day that will usher the continued opening of doors for my life and my story on this blog.
The door of physical shame.
The door of relational fear.
The door of closeted sexuality.
The door of inferiority among men.
So many doors; so many potential posts to come.
Just yesterday, Staff Week commenced at Camp Ridgecrest. (And I’m certain it will last more than 7 days once again this summer.)
Over the coming weeks, as more and more status updates and pictures flood my Facebook and Twitter feeds from North Carolina, I imagine my life here in California will be hard. Strained.
So much of me still feels pain and loss over being 3,000 miles away from where so much of me feels I “should” be this summer.
But things are brewing here. Summer jobs, youth volunteer options, and just a general sense of belonging.
I feel it. And I don’t wanna bask in the could-have-been. Need to bask more enthusiastically in the now and going-to-be. I need to do more than simply stay in California this summer.
On this one-year anniversary of the day I officially opened the door to crazy camp reality…
I need to keep opening those impossible doors. Because the long arduous mountain doesn’t end with the door of a mere book release.
New doors exist down that mountain and up entirely new ones as well.
Have you ever second-guessed a life-decision and wondered where your life would be had you taken the other path? Do you remember super pivotal dates like me, years down the road?