When I look back on it all,

everything that happened, how it all began,

the winding paths I’ve lead myself down, none of it makes sense.

It was all an accident. No intention of anything to occur the way it had.

But it did, and it was always meant to be just as wild as it is.

That’s how I view my life and all the madness that has consumed me and all that is around me. No one ever really believes me when I tell them this. They say it was because I’m some special individual snowflake, or a diamond in the rough, or some other god-awful analogy. Maybe I just don’t believe in myself as a normal person should, or rather I don’t think of myself as most normal people do. Instead, I’m constantly wondering about others and all the shrouding mystery of lives to be lived out in the untamed world.

And I think that’s sort of where it all began for me. Growing up in the mountains, surrounded by nature and isolation, I dreamed of adventures to be had and to leave the mundane behind. That’s sort of what made me feel better, to keep the cold lull of depression from plaguing my heart due to the life I lived on the Reservation. I had to constantly fight for another day, holding on to the small, insufferable hope that I could make it out alive from the oppression of the life of a native on the reserve.

Taking this moment to see it all for what it really was, I have to believe that the universe had been on my side this whole time. It was when I had noticed a particular sunset on a cold winters day when I was just 17 years old that just seemed to send a frenzy of emotion through me that caused a beautiful melancholy to contrast with my frigid, dead insides that were too numb for much else. It was then I knew I was still alive and could fight for more than what was given to me. I knew that I could fight for more than just a night.

After such events, I decided to speak up about the horrors of my life and sought help. I knew that I was ever too foolish to believe that I could be strong enough to battle these haunting ghosts that loom over me in a sea of grey all on my own. I knew that I couldn’t make it as far as I wanted to without any kind of direction. So I asked, I pleaded into open arms for someone to give me answers as to what I needed. And it was the most profound decision that I could have ever made. I had let people into my cavernous, lonely life and they guided me to safe places that let me rest what was once a weary soul.

What came next can only be described as a series of whirlwind events that no one could have ever saw coming. It was like my insides had turned to gasoline and the air I breathed were sparks of flames that set what I thought to be empty into a fiery inferno of passion that guided me forward. From there, I knew I needed to follow the untraveled paths I’ve always been to scared to walk. I spent the past five years taking the tumultuous steps that reckoned my skin and bones and all that I thought I was into dust in the wind. I began to see that the world wasn’t so black & white as I was lead to believe, that people weren’t so black & white.

There’s too much to be able to explain all that has happened to me in the past few years, once leaving behind all that had held me down. I discovered I needed to be more honest about who I am and the troubles I go through. I discovered that change for the better can still be uncomfortable and difficult. I learned to never judge a person on who they are and their background. Because, even so, a persons story and their character never really have to be in line with each other. We all get a little messy. We all make mistakes and walk with regret. But, the most important thing is to never let it become who you really are.

People have always had opinions and thoughts about my life and how I choose to live it. They tell me where I’m going wrong, how that if I want to live comfortably in the future I got to sacrifice what I have and work my ass off at a terrible job to make lots of money so I can relax when I’m old and grey. It goes without saying that I don’t really agree with what they have to say. Having spent the past five years being broke off my ass, living out of my backpack, sacrificing all that I could just to continue to put one foot in front of the other, I know I’ve made the right decision.

I’ve put my faith in the choices that scared the hell out of me. I’ve taken all that I held on to believe and all my cautions and threw it fully behind me.. Having spent most of my life being a shy, quiet introvert, I looked to the sky and let the wind blow me where it will. I’ve gone through volunteer programs, remote lodges, resort towns and being a city wrecker. I’ve met tons of people I never even thought could exist, boundaries have been tested and lines have been pushed. I let myself fall apart and put all the pieces back together again and again.

I’ve had more than a few people tell me how jealous they are my life, the traveling around I’ve done and the things I get to see. They always ask how I do I do it? And of how lucky I am and wish they had the freedom to do the same. More often then sometimes, I roll my eyes and tell them stop bullshitting me. We all like to make up excuses as to why we can’t live the life we want and how most people will never admit how brainwashed they’ve become by mainstream society to buy meaningless objects that fill up their life and weigh them down.

The reason why I am living this life is that I have chosen it. I decided to not let someone else’s views and opinions shape my life. I’ve decided to stop for a minute and ask “what if I’m wrong?”. I’ll always wonder if there can be more, if things could be better. I’m always searching for that perfect sunset, that beautiful song, and that ever so sweet smile on a pretty face. To me, chasing the unknown will always be the greatest adventure.

And maybe this is just for now. That, one day soon, I’ll leave behind the wild youth and the  turmoil of wanderlust and would finally have a chance for settling down. But, then again, what if I don’t? What if I should spend the rest of my days uncertain and lost and stuck staring at the starry heavens above?

With the hollow drum of my heart, I will tell the truth in that I wouldn’t trade this life for anything else in this whole world. Horror’s and all, this is the life I choose.



3 thoughts on “Unstuck

  1. Very well written and very true . But what if you are wrong.We are supposed to learn from our parents and take from them what we would like our life to be like and leave what we dont like. The past is good to remind you what you do not want but it should not consume your life of how bad it was and dwell on it day after day. We have to challenge ourselves to see if we can make it better . When i see you i see a young man that could easily make a life as a writer or photographer and those two things are a rare combination together . They seem to be a passion with you so you would be doing something you enjoy. We always wish the best for you hope you find what you look for but the answers will have to come from within.


    1. I’m not trying to be mean here, but you pretty much just paraphrased the whole article back to me.
      Except, just as well, you guys actually don’t know anything of what happened back then. You weren’t there, nor did you care to be there for us when things got extremely rough. There is a reason I don’t talk to my father, why he’s not welcomed back into my life. Horrible things happened, but you can’t just sweep it under the rug. This is where the phrase “ignorance is bliss” comes from. So, I’m saying with as much kindness as I can, you have no place to tell me what I can or cannot do. My life is amazing, I have found wonderful people that celebrate who I am and not try to condescend me and tell me where I am going wrong. I made it this far in life because of me, of the decision I made, and not of what anyone else wanted. And how I choose to express myself and the way I do it is not of your concern.
      What I write and photograph is not a cry for help, it’s a form of energy that I choose to show the world. It’s what makes me happy. And money has never concerned me whatsoever. I don’t care about money, I grew up without it and still do to this day. It’s fickle and meaningless. I make it as far as I need to and how long I want to. Fancy job titles and how big my bank account is not really important to me. I’m just searching for other stuff. And that’s alright. It doesn’t mean I’m failing at life or wasting it all away. Some people care about other things, such as people with meaningful connections, happiness in nothing and wonderful things such as nature and peace of mind. Rather than big houses and new trucks. Just because you have a difference of opinion doesn’t make you right and that I am wrong. It just means we live different lives. It’s always been that way. You just have to accept that.

  2. Hi Travis…I dont know you and just happened to stumble across your site..but after reading your story, I thought to myself, Wow..You are a very gifted writer!! Your writing drew me in and made me want to keep reading! You have a way with words and definitely should check out avenue! Good luck in whatever you choose and I look forward to maybe one day reading one of your books! Safe travels to you!

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