I took myself on a writing retreat, to repent, in a way, for so many days not writing. I recently quit my job for another that will be less flexible, but more social, with more opportunities. It was probably as easy of a transition as I could have ever expected, which I will put away in the bank of emotional stamina and come back to when that is not the case.
In any case, here I am in the high mountains of Aptos, CA, perched smack-dab in an apple orchard, doing the hardest part of a writing retreat: writing. Austin keeps telling me to "relax, do whatever feels best", and I'm with him on that, I really am. But I don't necessarily think goals have to be the opposite of relaxing, especially when I know that this act of sitting my butt in a chair and letting it happen, is one of the most life-giving works I could ever do, that it heals and stretches and opens. And, not to mention, I'm here alone. So it helps that I have a purpose, that I'm not going to spend the entire time doubting if I'm doing anything worth while, if I'm wasting it.
If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound? If a single woman spends a vacation completely alone, is it fun?
We could use more wasting time, in my opinion. We could use more spacing out and doing nothing for a while. Which I think is why I love driving so much. My friend Mark thinks that I can't part from my car, even though it woud make sense to, living in the city and all, because of New Mexico. We talk about living in New Mexico as an event. "Because of Apollo 11." "Because of New Mexico."
I loved driving before that point though. When I first got my license, I would drive circles around the streets close to our house, next to two (separate) boys who I had always had life-long crushes on (simultaneously, of course-- gotta diversify that portfolio), who lived up a few big hills from my home. I'd sneak side-glances to see if they were there, which they weren't, and then keep driving. I was most likely listening to Five for Fighting or Dave Matthews. Most definitely was. In college, I found my looping routes as well. They were the loops I would take when I was driving home but not quite ready to be home. I'd drive around Greenlake in Seattle a few times, most likely listening to Taylor Swift- not much has changed- or Hillsong United (I'm never publishing this), singing along, resting in the in-between place. I adore the in-between place. At my core, I don't think the best part of the journey is the destination. I fucking love the journey. Or at least, I fucking love car journeys.
In this case, though, the desination is pretty sweet. I mean that in both the hip 'sweet' way, as well as just the big sigh of relief of "ah, I'm here" sort of way. Bless you, Airbnb, bless you so hard. No hotel could or would ever compare to having a tiny cottage all to one's self tucked into the Santa Cruz mountains, it just couldn't. Maybe this is why family camps were born. Remember family camps? Where, for one week per summer, your whole family would pile into a 'rustic' cabin, which I'm realizing now must have been dreadful for my mom, and just do fun, individualized things the whole time? Camp in general was my bread and butter growing up, I realized the other day when Austin and I were driving through some of my old camp stomping grounds. I had as awkward of a teenage stage as anyone, but I shined at camp, as least in relation to my other life of losing every student council position that I ran for.
I haven't been back to any of the places I used to frequent over the summer, the camps specifically, I mean. I don't really have a reason to, nor do I have a desire at this point in my life, but lo and behold, this weekend I am, hand to heart, a mere few miles away from one of the most prominent camps, Kennolyn. But it's not the knowledge that it's close that feels comforting or familiar, it's the fact that this skyline and these trees hold such sweet invitations to remember, which I suppose is just a roundabout way of saying memories. I'll take it.