Travel is a funny thing. Often filled to the brim with sightseeing, obligatory bucket-list checked boxes, and a litany of other rando crap ya just gotta do, it can become the bane of your existence instead of the relaxing joy that you anticipated.
Journeys away from home are supposed to be an escape from the rat race, a way to fall off the grid while staying connected to it…let that sink in. Just what exactly are you getting away from if you remain tethered to your electronic leash? That would be…um…nada.
Covid has limited (some of us) our extensive travels, but if you’re crafty and have the means to get out of town for a bit, getting away can open you up to things you’ve never considered or perhaps you shelved because you simply didn’t want to (weren’t ready to) deal. I decided that it was time to deal, so I packed up the car (yes, over-packed it), set the GPS for Happy Place 2.0, and hit the open road.
For Memorial Day, I returned to my new adopted happy place in The Ozarks. Bass Point, a cabin resort community nestled in Gravois Mills, Missouri, is one of the most chill, relaxing places I’ve ever been. It’s the right mix of relaxation, activity, and social interaction without going too far off the path. (They have the WiFi — nuff said). Last year, my stay at Bass Point was a long, but short, weekend, and I wanted to go back. So away I went. As the holiday weekend wound down, I decided to try to write. As I poured the words onto the screen, I came to terms with what I really wanted to be as I finally grow up. Strangely enough, it’s the same damned thing that I wanted to be as a kid: a writer.
Now, truth be told, I’ve got a voice (and a face) for radio and once thought I wanted to be an NPR broadcaster, but truly when I think about my passion and what I really want to do, it’s writing. I have several interests and a much larger range of talents; however, when it comes down to it, I love to write. It’s the thing I get lost in when I’m doing it, and the world around me fuels so much opportunity and provides me with endless content…trust me…you guys give me a lot to write about!
Over the past 18 months, I’ve had the opportunity to work for an attorney, drafting policy and protocols for our global organization. My lawyering boss is an incredible writer (and editor). I really had to up my game as I knew he would review each and every word, and he did. (No pressure!) By the time he retired this month, I gained mastery — no edits, no changes. My faith in my skills restored. With his departure, I am moving back into an operations role where I have a lot of comfort, stability, and opportunity to craft (write) strategy. I appreciated his patience and mentoring while I was healing, from, well, a lot. He was my greatest advocate and Encourager-in-Chief. I needed that. I’m grateful and honored to now call him my friend.
But writing at work is different than writing for work. I eventually want to write for a living. I fear that it may become a lost art as we move toward more LOLs and LOYL shortcuts. The ability to passionately communicate thoughts and feeling through the written word may take a backseat to Reality TV and super-undressed music star videos. I mean, do they even teach cursive in school anymore? Doesn’t the keyboard make it obsolete? The thought saddens me.
I sat on the stoop of our cabin and laid down to put my feet on the rail while I let the sun beam down onto my face. A tear rolled down my cheek as I thought about my childhood dream and how I put it in a box many years ago. I chose to “do the right thing” and follow a safer path. Like many of us, that was the expectation, and so that’s what I did. Is it too late? Could I really pull a hat trick and do this thing? Do I really have anything left to say that hasn’t already been said? Can I really create writing-inspired products and ideas that motivate people to take giant leaps in their own lives? Am I just a grown-up little girl who needs to wake up from her daydreams?
As I sat on the deck, the tears kept coming, and I questioned my thoughts. I’m pondering a lot these days, but there are some things that I no longer question:
- Writing is a gift that I must not leave unused. I no longer believe that my perfect mate must be a financial genius ( I can manage the money just fine and have for 15 years so what the hell is my problem?). My perfect man is an intellectually evolved outdoorsman with a smarmy attitude and a big heart who wants to help me save the green spaces. Bonus points if you have your own ranch and/or green space. You can keep the suits for special occasions (’cause a lady still likes a well-dressed man).
- I prefer a man who can write me a poem, a love song, or just a passionate letter to say he loves me (rather than the back and forth of text messages…um…please pick up the damn phone or a pen…thank you). I realize I’m asking for a dying fantasy, but for the love of Gawd someone please humor me for once…just one time…an old-fashioned love letter would be sooo money!!!
- You don’t have to stay stuck in anything that doesn’t make you happy or lets you shine. If someone unzips to pee on your parade, open your umbrella in their general direction…
Mean people have always sucked and they still do, so don’t spend any more time with them than required (if at all).
- Love is real and real people can still love. So keep it real and really love. I still believe in love even if it no longer believes in me.
- I love to travel and sometimes traveling away from home allows you to explore your psyche, your options, and helps you to truly evaluate the risks you’re willing to take to be happy. Travel can bring you right back where you started…or take you where you are supposed to be. Doing what you love makes it easier to love life, people, and the greater world around us. So take the time to really think about what (and who) you really love. Take a trip away from the day to day and really ponder this.