Right now I’m sitting in the empty claw foot bathtub in my bathroom, eating kale chips with ranch dressing and reflecting on the past year. The kale chips are clearly just a vessel for the ranch, but you already knew that. 2015 was a weird one. It was a lot of fun, but also really different than any other year I’ve ever had. I hope you guys all had a good holiday…apologies for the lack of posts around here. I missed writing, but needed to take a break from it for a while.
Over Christmas Trey’s grandfather (who he’s named after) passed away. Trey was really inspired by him, especially the engineering work on a NASA mission he did that Trey says influenced him to become an engineer too. So, Trey flew back to the east coast for the holidays to be with his family and sent me some pretty amusing text messages about riding in a mid-sized sedan with his mom, dad, sister and brother for 5 hours while driving from North Carolina to the funeral in Tennessee.
While he was gone, I took the dogs and drove down to LA. Los Angeles is one of those cities that’s big enough to feel lost in. There’s an anonymity to it that feels good. I spent a lot of time thinking and talking to friends I hadn’t talk to in a while. I had told Trey I felt tired mentally, especially these past few months, but didn’t really know why. It was frustrating to not feel inspired or motivated about life, especially when there was nothing identifiably wrong in my life. I didn’t talk about it much here because the last thing I wanted to share with the world was my personal onset of jadedness and melancholy. I’m more of the self destructing type. I’d rather go for a long drive and blast music with the windows down, or self medicate and forget about everything. I’m not recommending that or anything, I’m just saying that’s usually just what happens.
There were a lot of times this year when I felt restless and claustrophobic. I function best in chaos. I like complicated. Intensity is exciting. When everything gets routine, that’s when I derail. This past year was a lesson in sitting still, something I hadn’t done in a while. I added it up the other day and since leaving home after high school I’ve been to 46 states, driven across the country 5 times, lived in 7 cities/towns, and been to 10 different countries. I got good at being that friend/girlfriend/daughter/sister who texts and emails from afar because I was off doing things. I perfected the art of saying goodbye. It was a formula – go out, get drunk and stay out late, look them in the eyes and kiss their face and tell them how much you love them, then leave in the morning.
Moving around and traveling a lot has its perks. Everything is new and exciting, all the time. It’s fun, really fun. It’s sharing a bottle of liquor on an overnight train with a stranger, it’s exchanging a mutual smile with someone that says more than any word in any language ever could, it’s losing yourself to the moment and abandoning everything you thought you knew. There’s no time to think about the past or worry about the future when you’re so intensely focused on the present. But there are downsides too. When you’re moving around all the time, you don’t build personal relationships with people, or get to experience the stability that comes from having a place to call home. It’s sitting alone in a hotel room during the holidays, it’s your old best friend finding a new best friend, it’s finding out you missed your grandma by a day in the boarding line for a red eye flight home, it’s nothing ever being the same when you get back.
In 2015 something changed for me. I realized that I’ve spent a lot of time and energy running – from people and places I didn’t align with, from the status quo, trying to escape from a past that happened so long ago. This was the year when I got tired. This was the year I learned I didn’t have anything to run from anymore. When Trey got back, he told me he felt the same, for his own reasons. I think that’s why we have always worked…we both left the same small town and never looked back. But, traveling takes on a new meaning for us now. Getting to grow roots in San Francisco and finding the joy in the everyday things life has to offer here is really fun. It’s that barista who always gives you an extra shot in your latte just because, it’s that old guy at the dog park that’s always there with his irish wolfhound, it’s dinner parties with friends, it’s having a place to come home to.
I don’t know what the year ahead is going to bring our way. I’ve gotten it wrong enough times in life to know not to predict anything or plan too much anymore. Either way, good times are gonna be had. Thank you for continuing to follow along with us here. I love reading your comments and hearing your stories. Thank you for sharing this space with me. Here’s to good vibes in 2016.