Well, hello there, beautiful!
I’ve just wrapped up a two-ish week journey, in which time I flew to both California and Texas, then drove my car solo all the way from Texas to Massachusetts, THEN took a weekend trip to Vermont. It’s been busy and wonderful and chaotic, and I slept a deep and dreamless sleep for about 10 1/2 hours last night at the end of everything and woke up feeling brand spankin’ new.
I’m still in the middle of writer’s block. Blog posts are irregular. Journal entries are sparse. Poetry is nonexistent these days. Sitting down to create this post is causing me a bit of physical pain. I can’t even tell you why, and I’m sure that special rainbow has a treasure chest full of fascinating psychological and emotional reasons at the end of it. For now, I’m gonna go with a baseline, “It is what it is.”
But…there is a but. I had a lot of time to think and process while I was traveling. Uh-duh. I also listened to a lot of great music and podcasts, and had some fantastic conversations with different peeps who kept me company during my 4 day drive. I’d like to share some bits and pieces of that here.
The first mini-life lesson from this road trip: know when to stop. Envision the hand-clapping emoji in between each of those emboldened words for added emphasis. I was trying to get from Springfield to Cleveland on my second day of driving, and it just wasn’t going to happen. I was exhausted and still about 3 hours out when it started raining. Hard. As in, torrential downpour hard. Oh, and it was already after dark. Fun times. My good friend K called to check on me and advised me to stop, but I was all, “Nah, I got this.” I had a reservation for a hotel and there wouldn’t be a refund if I cancelled, but mostly I wanted to be a badass and prove to myself and the world that I could drive close to 12 hours in one day and make it to my destination, no problem. So yeah, Mother Nature had other plans and I really had no choice but to stop, which made me unreasonably angry. I pulled over on the highway about 20 miles from Columbus, along with most of the other cars on the road, because it was next to impossible to see and it was, how do you say, dangerous? I smacked my steering wheel and started yelling at the sky. Like, “FINE, is this what you wanted???” Yep, I threw a fit. I’m sure I cried a little bit in there, as well. The unnecessary drama was real. The fighting against common sense was real. I gathered my wits, said a prayer for myself and all the travelers around me, and safely made it to a nearby Holiday Inn. I griped about the whole thing on my Instagram stories and went to bed in a huff for being thrown off of my precious schedule. Overnight, my head somehow magically removed itself from my rear end and I realized that things could have been much worse, and I just needed to be thankful that I was okay. I made peace with being a day behind, and guess what? Rivers didn’t start running backward, and it kinda led into what happened next.
My last leg of the drive home wound me through upstate New York. It was all lush greenery and rolling hills, a true pastoral fantasy. There was one point in time when I turned off whatever was blasting through my speakers and just sat there. In my car. Watching it all go by me and letting myself pass through it. I had been freaking out about a number of items: not having enough money to get by, trying to figure out clever ways to change the fact that I don’t have enough money to get by, especially since I’m in school and shouldn’t school be my primary focus and the thing I’m devoting most of my time to, feeling like a garbage adult because I’m not making enough money to get by (do you see a theme here?), knowing that I probably wouldn’t make it back for book club that night even though I said that I would be there and oh my god, I’m such a flake, and also I feel like I live in so much fear and I make decisions that are fear-based and why do I keep doing that, I’d really like to stop doing that?!
Good grief, Charlie Brown. Then out of nowhere, a little voice spoke to me and said,
“You have nowhere else to be except here right now. So be here.”
And by golly, I listened. Even if it was only for a few minutes, I listened. It didn’t solve all of my problems or make them go away, but it made the problems more manageable and less like they were going to grind my bones to make their bread.
Last but not least, here’s what I was listening to during my travels. All come highly suggested by me, because you know, I have impeccable taste and only give my time and energy to the most worthy of causes. Links included. Enjoy.
The Fundamentalists— hosted by philosopher Peter Rollins & comedian/YouTube personality Elliott Morgan // These guys are a hoot and a half…I appreciate everything they’re churning out, but “Protestant Muslim vs. Catholic Muslim” is a standout for me.
Spiritualish— hosted by Meadow Devor & Laura McKowen // Real fun, and there’s some especially good content about setting boundaries…highlight episodes include “How to Make Everyone Like You” and “The Cost of Being Likable.”
On Being with Krista Tippett // One of my very favorite podcasts ever, in the whole world…so many interviews with so many incredible people…recently tuned into “The Inner Landscape of Beauty” with poet/theologian/philosopher John O’Donohue.
Music? Clean Bandit was on repeat, I brushed up on the Fleet Foxes discography before seeing them in VT this past weekend, ~T-Swift 4ever~, the Black Panther soundtrack, Arcade Fire, Darius, and I did my best to brush up on my Spanish and memorize the words to Despacito…so there’s that!
As always, thanks for reading, friends.
// this post was originally published on my Medium account, which you can find here!
[photo cred: Esther Tuttle @ unsplash.com]