Dreaming of Tacos

I’ve been dreaming of tacos lately. Maybe that’s the anticipation I’ve been looking for. The food, but also the people I’ll be eating with. There are a lot of things I could have planned differently, places I could have gone to before I went home, but I think this will work out for now. I am not yet the world traveler I want to be.

I have been to Mexico, Taiwan, Long Island, San Diego, Atlanta, Columbus, Dallas, San Francisco, and more, but I still hesitate when I have to go alone. I still hesitate when I have to fight against language barriers and the unknown. I am not yet free of those fears. I think they’ll always be there, I’ll just get better at bypassing them.

I went back up Beichatianshan, the mountain that I had so much trouble with before. It was easier. I still ache, but not like I did. I’m not dreading the flight because of the pain, and I know I’ll be fine. There are things here I have not finished, and there may never be complete closure, but that’s fine.

The idea of closure for me is still tied to stories. The book ends, and all the loose ends are tied up. In life, most of what happens has no meaning beyond what we give it, beyond the emotions and thoughts it creates, or the people it brings into our lives. In a story, everything matters. There is no time or space for wasted words, or wasted moments. Absolutely everything matters.

That has always been my difficulty with life. If I believe something has no meaning, it doesn’t. If I believe it has meaning, it does. The problem I have come to now is that nothing really matters, and yet everything does. I may never see the effect of my arbitrary choices, but every breath I take changes the world. It’s a hard thing to believe two complete opposites at the same time, but somehow it’s there. My pessimism fighting against my optimism. My hope fighting my despair.

The trip up the mountain was easier this time. There were birds, with colors from a child’s cartoon, stark orange, black, red, white. We were challenged by monkeys, from a distance, and apparently I’m allergic to peanut butter, but only certain brands. Not peanuts, just the end product. I didn’t make it to the peak this time because of it, but I made it to a different one, and I’ve been up Beicha before.

I like the silence of the mountains, and the laughter of my friends. The pain, the discomfort, and the irritation all have meaning when they take me to places I wouldn’t normally go, bring me to people I might never have met. I don’t know that I would want to go alone, though. Like Guard said, we get away from the city to meet people.

I’m on my way out now. Just cleaning and packing the last few things. Hopefully the rain will stop soon, but it’s light in the way it usually is in Taiwan. I don’t think I will really know what I miss until I’m gone. I know I’ll miss Hualien, the hiking, the friends I’ve made, and the laughs, but I don’t feel it yet.

Closure. I keep looking for it. The problem is that same concept, life as an open wound. It’s all there, the joy and the pain, as wounds and scars. If that is how I intend to live my life, there can’t ever really be closure. A perfectly healed wound doesn’t tell the story that a scar does. A painless life doesn’t hold to the memory of what’s been lost.

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