I’ve got a wild heart

elise wallace is sharing her wild heart with us here in the wild hearts club! thank you elise!

“I’ve got a wild heart.

No, not a wild streak — not crazy or unpredictable or dangerous. More like wild horse, or wildflower or wilderness; that’s my heart. My heart feels very strongly and it usually leads to artistic creation or big life changes. My mother told me that I’m not satisfied until I’ve experienced something for myself. If I have a question, a desire, a burning, or a curiosity, I won’t be at peace until I’ve done the damn thing myself.

This means that I try a lot of things, my life has been a bit all over the place, and I’ve got a lot of experiences. I’ve hiked the Appalachian Trail, lived in a different apartment each year of my adult life, dated many people, and stayed with my jobs for an average of only a year. This also means that I’ve failed. Doubt has filled my soul until I cried. There have been nights with no sleep and lots of anxiety. But my favorite part about being like this; having a wild heart is:

I don’t have any regrets.

When I’m hiking my mind turns up old relationships, certain conversations, and past embarrassments. When old hurts and past mistakes come up my chest contracts and I feel my body curling away from a painful memory. That is not the same feeling as regret; what I sense is a learned recognition. I know that a mistake or past action of mine resulted in something painful or embarrassing but I choose to be gracious with my past self. I know that without that experience, however negative it felt at the time, I wouldn’t have learned a lesson, known myself deeper or be able to avoid my unhealthy patterns.

There are things I wish didn’t happen, but some of them have been the best things because they brought me right here.

This was my mother’s first backpacking trip ever. While I thruhiked the A.T. last year she was battling breast cancer and started walking more. She bought hiking poles and began to explore the woods around her house. A few months ago she started asking about gear and pretty soon we had a trip planned. I couldn’t wait to share my favorite outdoor activity.

I watched my mother sweat and climb hills with a 25 pound pack.

“I know this is hard, mom. We’re almost to camp.”

“I’ve done hard things before.”

Yup, she sure had. Her first career was a nurse in the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit at a hospital, then she had two children. When my sister and I were in high school she went to seminary and received a Masters Degree, despite the fact that her children didn’t want her to spend time away. She’s about to wrap up two years as the president of a local writing non-profit, even though many questioned why she would take such a thankless and unpaid job. This summer her first book of poetry is going to be published. She’s already got invitations to read across the state. Don’t forget: she beat breast cancer and had a double mastectomy last year.

Wild means something specific for me, and for all the ladies at Jenni Earle. A wild heart means one that stays true to dreams and desires. My mom for sure is a part of the Wild Hearts Club. While I walked ahead of my mother on the trail I began to piece her life, and her accomplishments together — and I was, I am, amazed at all she’s done despite odds, difficulty and unconventionality.

Being a part of the Wild Hearts club means that you listen to your heart; the dreams and desires that thrive in your beating chest.

My wild heart is mine, but my mother gave me the best example. Stay true. Be brave. This isn’t a club by invitation, it’s a choice to follow your wildness.

Follow your wild hearts.”

 

gorgeous writing, elise!! and HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY soon to all you wild, beautiful mamas out there showing us how it’s done. 

be brave, 

be authentic, 

jenni earle

 

Share your thoughts