September 2, 2013

long overdue

I went on a little adventure this weekend. I wanted to go last weekend but I ended up with a four-day headache and also I was so stressed that I spent much of at least one day feeling like I was either going to cry or hyperventilate. it was fun.

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wild horses in fields, wild horses on the shoulder, wild horses in the road (!). a road that turns from city to suburb to pine trees to the mountain (oh, the mountain), then to dry grasses and shrubs, yellow earth, huge blue sky. hills and hills and hills, and rocks, and nothing else. on a bike ride -- finally, a bike ride -- I pass a few lizards and then one beautiful coyote, loping across the road in front of me. at night there is only sky, and with almost nothing lit up nearby you can see thousands upon thousands of stars. and the milky way -- the milky way! I had forgotten it was even possible to see it. a shooting star streaks past and I remember to make a wish. a good one.

waking up and having a cup of coffee, gazing out into the hills, everything quiet, nothing in particular to do except figure out whether to bike or hike or read: I need much, much more of this.

it's funny, although I live just 90 minutes from the pacific ocean, I normally don't feel at all like I live "out west." (by the way, even after eight years, I still find it jarring and weird to hear people say "out east.") so it's really gratifying to drive a couple hours and crest a hill and suddenly realize, hey, this is it! I am in the west for real now. there are tumbleweeds -- that's how you know.

I drove home yesterday feeling very relaxed and fulfilled and good, ready to tackle my life again. but 60 blocks from home or so, I was again sweaty and restless, and suddenly it was as though the mantle descended. lately there's constantly the feeling of being almost literally physically stuck inside my life. I got home and unpacked the car and here it all was again: too much to do, and the dread and anxiety around doing it. I tried to push it aside. I'm still trying.

but seriously, guys. look at this nonsense:

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2 comments:

  1. I love it over there. There was no moon the night I ran my night leg of Cascade Lakes Relay, and we were out on a remote dirt road between Silver Lake and Mt. Bachelor. The Milky Way was absolutely breathtaking. I still can't get the image out my head of being surrounded by the starry galaxy as I ran.

    Re: feeling overwhelmed, anxious and trapped upon returning from vacation, that is exactly how I felt after coming back from my last one (see above). It almost seemed like it wasn't worth going, if returning to real life felt so crappy. Sometimes I think it means you have to take a good hard look at your life and figure out how to change it so you aren't feeling so trapped. And I think sometimes it's just grown-up life...coming back to work stinks.

    Are those wild horses? They look skinny - you can tell it's been a dry year.

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  2. My mood on returning to real life definitely did make me sit down and think, what is it that's so different in my normal life that was gone from vacation? And of course part of it IS, I think, just grown-up life, but for me a large part of my anxiety and frustration stems from just having too much to do, not only in my work life but in my life outside the office as well. I think of all the things I want/need to do and I feel like it isn't possible (and sometimes it isn't) and then I feel frustrated and defeated. I've had some long mental sit-downs with myself about this the last few days.

    And yes, wild horses! They were definitely on the ribby side. While I was hiking I wondered what they could possibly be eating out there. So amazing!

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