Sometimes, i feel as if i am schizophrenic, a conflicting dichotomy sitting down for tea, in my mind. I long for companionship, but am fueled by solitude. I crave intimacy, but fight to be alone.
We tend to give that word such a negative twist, but i relish in it. I've gotten used to the lonely drive, along the Eastern Sierras, to Mammoth. That all too familiar sense of nostalgia creeping in, making way for old memories of being alone on the road flow over the horizon as i inch towards it, even though i'm blasting through the high desert at 78mph, just fast enough not to get a ticket. A song reminds me of a solo drive from the past. I sip my coffee and sigh, soaking in the fond memories of it. On the road, like this, its a good thing. I look at the empty seat next to me, wishing an adventure loving comrade sat there, playing with her hair and the playlist she's concocted for us, all the while offering stimulating views of the world with a voice thats music to my ears. At the same time, i look at that same empty seat and the empty road and relish in a deep seeded sense of pride and accomplishment, that i am a world traveler, an adventurer, and i do it all on my own.
When i arrive in Mammoth, all my grand plans of drinking beers all night with old friends fall through and i end up watching football by myself in my hotel room. I eat a Subway sandwich because i just want to eat quick and go to bed, my big outing for the night, and fall asleep focusing my designs on exercising my rusty "ski legs" in the morning.
The next day, I roll into the marketing office at Mammoth Mountain for a meeting, feeling good that i'm skiing, but feeling a little low, the good loneliness eventually giving way, just a little bit, to the longing for companionship. As i'm feeling like this, they slide a contract in front of me and i almost well up in tears. They want me to be an ambassador, to represent the mountain in a positive way, and make it official. They want to pull me into the family! How validating to have someone believe in me, in my value, and want to invest in me! This is why family is so important. I'm not that close with mine, so group bonding means all the world to me. Its funny how our psyche works too. The day before, i skied like crap, falling over, rusty, frustrated, embarrassed. After signing that contract, i skied hard, rocketing down the mountain slicing through the snow with precision and speed, projecting into the fall line with confidence. All it took was someone investing in me. Thank you, Mammoth!!!