Roll Me Away Friday, Sep 26 2014 

 photo (2)

It was an early Saturday morning, on what had amounted to just a few hours of sleep, and an iced mocha was glued to my hand. The roads were clear, the sun was shining, and Cher’s ‘Just Like Jesse James’ was blasting from my stereo. In that moment I felt more free and happy than I had in years.

That was the day I started my solo seventeen day road trip journey.

The day I started to pick up all the broken pieces and put myself back together.

I don’t think even I realized how stressed and unhappy I was when I started that journey. I had spent months feeling beaten, personally and professionally. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted and I couldn’t see an end in sight.

Until I placed myself behind the wheel, cranked the tunes, and let myself get lost in the journey.

I realize that it sounds bleak, like I was teetering on the edge, about ready to crash. Maybe I was. At that point I was still working in a job that was slowly crushing my soul. I spent day after day pouring every ounce of myself into that company, and it was never good enough. There was never a day when I was thanked, just meeting after meeting where my nose was rubbed into every single mistake I made, no matter how small or insignificant.

That doesn’t even touch the giant emotional baggage I had been storing away for months. Pushing it all into little corners of my mind, refusing to deal with how hurt, betrayed, and angry I was feeling.

That beautiful day in May was the beginning of something amazing though.

My solo road trip would take me from my home base in Montana to Oregon for a few days with my old roommate. Following that I would stay a few days in Las Vegas before heading to California to visit my Grandpa and then on to see the best friend in San Diego. My journey home would take me back to Vegas, a night’s stay in Utah, and then finishing my trip with my family in Bozeman for a corvette show.

I was thrilled with my plans, and spent months counting down the days until I could make it happen. I found that people fell into one of two groups when they heard my plans. The first group was flabbergasted with my plans. They couldn’t understand why I would essentially want to spend seventeen days traveling by myself. What if I got hurt? What about all the crazy people in this world? How would I be safe by myself? The second group was envious. They understood why this sounded like the ultimate dream vacation to me.

I don’t know that I could explain the allure to somebody who thinks this kind of trip sounds awful. I think a large part of it has to do with my lifestyle. I crave independence and moments alone to do my heavy thinking. When I am upset I drive. Aimlessly throughout the valley, with nothing but the blaring stereo for company, and it soothes me. I have spent 99% of my adult life by myself. I make all of the important decisions for my life, and while I have a sounding board that helps, I wake up every morning and go to bed every night by myself.

At the end of the day, I have learned that the only person I can count on 100% of the time is me.

Why wouldn’t my ultimate road trip vacation include that?

A trip where I was making all the decisions, every step of the way. I decided what time to get up and start my days, what I would eat, and what detours were worth my time and energy. There is no doubt in my mind that I would have not done half the things I did on that trip if I had been with somebody else. On my way home I took what ended up being a seven hour detour to see the Grand Canyon.

Just because I could.

IMG_1548

I’m not saying solo road trips are for everyone, but for me, it was the one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life. I loved getting to visit my family and friends and making them apart of this incredible, epic journey. I was invigorated by the long hours of driving and the amazingly beautiful things I got to experience and see along the way. My camera was thoroughly exhausted by the time I got home. Most of all though, I was thankful for the thinking time, and the issues that I forced myself to mentally work through on those well traveled roads.

I forced myself to appreciate my better qualities, to recognize that while I have as many faults as the next person; I will never stop being a loyal friend to the people I love. I realized that the palm reader I met a few years ago is correct, I cannot change people, I can only change my expectations, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I have come to accept that I am the type of person who forgives instead of holding grudges – no matter how awful or painful the circumstances were.

Most of all though, I realized that at the end of the day I may only have myself, but that woman is pretty damn incredible. She is strong, brave, witty, smart,willing to take risks, and cares with every fiber of her being for the people in her life, no matter what mistakes they have made

What can I say, I found myself on the beaten roads somewhere between here and California.

I wonder what I’ll find next year*…

*Definitely making that a yearly tradition. Probably for a shorter journey, but a solo road trip journey all the same.
**Photo Credit: Yours truly – Middle of nowhere Arizona and North Rim Grand Canyon National Park

At The Beginning Monday, Sep 22 2014 

A few years ago this was my favorite place to share my thoughts, my fears, and all of the things that made me smile in a week. Slowly, as time progressed though, it became harder to make myself sit down and share those pieces of myself post after post. When I go back and read them now, I feel like I’m reading passages written by a stranger.

I can’t quite pinpoint exactly when it became too hard to continue, but I know, without a doubt, the events that contributed to my block. For as long as I can remember writing has been therapeutic. It isn’t quite the therapy that jumping in the car and hitting the open road with the tunes blasting has always been for me, but it’s definitely a close second. In the last few years so many personal triumphs and stumbles have occurred, and it was those stumbles that made my love of writing fade.

Suddenly every time I sat in front of a blank document I found myself wanting to scream my frustrations onto the clean white spaces. Deep down though, I knew that it wouldn’t help. If I couldn’t voice my frustrations to the people causing them, writing them down and sharing them with the interwebs wouldn’t solve anything. I read once that you should let your past make you better, not bitter – and for the past year I have been doing my best to live by those words.

In the past few months I have found myself itching to get back into writing, and more specifically, bringing this blog back into my life. I want to be reminded again by things that make me happy, or things that have impacted me. I can’t remember all the stories of my early twenties, but when I scroll through old ‘Things I Love Thursday’ posts I am reminded of hundreds of fabulous moments.

I have since unpublished all of my original posts, mostly because I wanted to start fresh, but that’s not to say I won’t bring them back once in awhile for a little throwback. There are a lot of pieces of which I am very proud, and I would love the opportunity to showcase them again one day. For now though, they are my invisible inspiration. A reminder that I need to take the time to indulge in these pieces of written medicine that make me feel whole again.

Just so you are aware of who I am now, I should warn you, I’ve seen a lot of change in my life in the last year.

 I recently left the job I had held for seven years to take on an opportunity I hope will advance my career. It was one of the toughest decisions I have had to make thus far. Having started there the month before I turned twenty-one, I wasn’t just saying goodbye to a job, I was saying goodbye to the place where I grew up.

Even more recently I decided to take up training for a 5k race – which was quite a challenge when you realize I may hate running more than any other person in the world. Every time I lace up my neon pink tennis shoes I attempt to give myself a pep talk, and then find myself blown away when I manage to make it through those runs without dying, Seriously. It’s a freaking miracle.

Perhaps the biggest impact of the last year however, is also the one that holds the biggest emotional punch. That defining obstacle that I struggle to put behind me every single day. The one thing I will do my best to not dwell on here, but would be ridiculous to pretend like it hasn’t changed me. I took a risk, silenced super brain, and I let my heart make the decisions. I fell hard. Perhaps harder than I would even care to admit, and I ended up crushed. I revealed more pieces of myself than I had ever done before, and unfortunately, in the end, I just wasn’t what he wanted. To this day, the loss of the friendship we shared saddens me. Almost as much as the realization, that in all likelihood, he meant more to me than I did to him. It’s a tale as old as time though, and in no way original or remarkable

It’s part of the story though, and I hope that with each passing day I find new adventures and new stories to post on this blog. There is nothing I love more than sitting down in front of my computer, tunes blasting from my phone, trying to create a written masterpiece of all my quirky thoughts. I can’t promise a clear vision of what to expect here, except that you will most likely get me, in all my crazy uniqueness.

Damn.

I really had forgotten how much I love this…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 172 other followers