But in that lies the problem. I see within the year. I see months of the utterly fantastic, of the day to day fucking greatness that has been my life. But I can't see beyond my flight on Wednesday. I can´t take it all in as a complete package. I have no idea how to get closure on what has surely been the most significant year of my life thus far. Yeah, I'm only 21 (as of a week ago), but Hay-sus Cristo, if I have too many years as emotionally and spiritually intense as this year, I might not make it.
What do I do with it? The end of a year? One thing I did, in my silly youth, perhaps, is get a tattoo. How cliche, you may think. How stupid, my mother may think. But I was thinking of a way to encapuslate a year in a simple, unobstrusive image, and this was it. A spiral. A symbol of progress, but not linear progress. Of growth, but not linear growth. I know I am not the person I was a year ago. Correction, I am still me, Hayley Sophie Currier, but I am me amplified. I am me stretched and squished and mushed and poked and pulled through the wringer. I am me plus a year of experiences. Yet I still have some of the same thoughts, problems, insecurities as I did a year ago. I come back to think on these things, with a little more clarity, a little more direction, perhaps, but I keep coming back. I'm growing and learning and improving, but I'm never done. This also reflects my thoughts on Development, as a study, as a practice. It is just constant questions without answers, problems without solutions. There is work to be done, and I can make a difference. My bit, if I am working the best I can, is enough. But, again, it isn't linear. Development, of countries, of people, of knowledge, is a process that wraps around on itself. Further, I have definitely explored my own spirituality this year. A word I didn't like using, a word I couldn't even define, I suddenly understand. I still don't know a hell of a lot, and I like it that way, but what I do understand is that there is an energy in the universe. Call it gravity, call it god, call it weather patterns, but I can feel it. I've connected with people across borders, cultures, and languages--over futbol, over shared experience, over getting lost, over drinks--I've seen seeds grow into dinner, I've felt joy and adrenaline and tension and sadness. This is energy. This is the energy of Pachamama, the Quechua word for Mother Earth. Call me a fruitloop hippie, but this spiral, a symbol of all this, is still engraved in my ankle until I die. The foot (not a freaking snail, thank you) is for travel. It is for the physical traveling I've done this year, and for the emotional travel I've done as well. It's for the knowledge that every step I take leaves an imprint, so it better as hell be a good one. A sidenote cool thing--I drew the image myself and the tattoo guy copied it and traced my lines exactly. So its my hand that is there to remind me of the lessons of this year.
That's all I've got. I got ink done, I've about 100 places to stay all over the world from my new friends, and at least 100 promised tours to give for friends visiting me. I've got thousands of pictures and the most disgusting ripped up clothing you've ever seen. I have five days left in Ecuador, and a month in Nepal and India with Erin Reeves. And then I have to do something with it. I have to take the year and make it part of my life. I have to remember to make my life what I want it to be. And I need to graduate at some point. Huh.
More pictures from my final weeks at Comuna de Rhiannon, my 21st birthday at the farm, and a couple of weekend trips.