I love starting my week at Stone Gardens with some of my best friends. (Full confession, the photo above is from The Seattle Bouldering Project, on Halloween, not tonight. But it’s a gym photo, so I thought it fit). It was after one of our climbing nights that a friend described me one of the most accurate ways I’ve heard so far, saying that I live my life like a fish in a fishbowl, minus the glass. I’ve tried, in the past, to keep this blog very Art Focused, but I think that’s also one of the reasons I stopped writing for so long. I didn’t want my personal life to come into my Artist’s Persona– I wanted to keep an academic sense of distance.
I’m just not that kind of person. I don’t keep distance, I don’t shy away from personal stories. My Monday night crew knows this, perhaps better than anyone. They hear my stories about bad dates and good dates, co-workers and family. My life is open to my friends, perhaps too much so. I’m not about to start using this space as a confessional, but I think that it’s okay to let some personal life blur in, especially if it means I’m writing more.
This weekend I spent a lot of time by myself, and it’s something I need to do more of. In that effort, I decided, somewhat arbitrarily, that I don’t get to date until I can climb a 5.11+ cleanly or make it to the top of a 5.12- at Stone Gardens. It seemed a good stretch goal– I’m climbing 5.11-s clean these days, but it took me weeks to get to the top of a 5.11+ and I’ve never made any real progress on a 5.12. There are, of course, men who are on a list of exceptions– there have to be loopholes. But for the most part, I want to focus on getting stronger without the distraction of does he like me, am I being too eager, do I like him, when will I see him next… Setting a climbing goal seemed like a good way to do it. Becoming a stronger climber means more yoga and meditation, more mental focus, more complete body strength.
Except- new routes were set a few days ago that I hadn’t accounted for, including a really fun 5.11+. My first try was a complete shut-down, as I expected. And then, when I came back to it— it just made more sense. It wasn’t easy, but it made sense. I didn’t finish it clean, but it’s within my grasp. So much for a stretch goal. Does that mean I’m ready to date? I don’t think so– I think I need a better goal. Because the thing is– dating is great, but so is the space I’ve found recently. This space has given me back writing and art, in addition to a stronger body. I’m going to get the 5.11+ clean, hopefully in the next few days. And I’m going to find another goal, to keep my heart open.