Just like Lucy, I got some splainin’ to do too. I got pretty side tracked with my big changes. During the first three weeks of my trip, I was focused. Enjoying every aspect of traveling. I loved seeing the new landscape as it appeared moment by moment ahead of me through my windshield. I loved the people I met. I looked forward each day to the unknown adventures ahead of me.
I was a sponge at the writer’s conference. I learned so much that my brain ached. It was a good ache though. It lit a fire under my enthusiasm for writing. And I’ve been writing. Just not here.
After the conference, I continued with the second half of my trip. I met Nancy Kalish, Ph.D in Sacramento. She is a Psychologist, Professor emeritus from the University of California at Sacramento, and author of Lost and Found Lovers. She writes for Psychology Today magazine, was the head psychologist for Reunion.com. She has been on numerous talk shows, news broadcasts and radio programs all over the world. But to me, she’s Nancy. I moderate her website. She’s taught me so many things about balancing life, work, and outside interests. We shared a lovely afternoon over lunch and even split a wonderful dessert.
But things began to turn a little bit as I continued my trip. My next stop was in Portland, Oregon where I met a colleague and friend, Adam. I first met Adam when he came to the agency I was working for as an intern. He was there for two years… leaving the busy hub of Portland to come rural to Algona Iowa. I’m sure it was a shock for him. Little did I know that spending time with Adam in Portland would change me. But it did.
We brunched at Zelda’s, walked along the river and across bridges in downtown Portland, he took me to Powell’s Bookstore (I could have spent a week in there!), and finally we had drinks and dinner high above the city. I had the most amazing time! We talked, laughed, talked, shopped (and found a lovely hat for Jane), ate and walked, and laughed some more.
The next morning as I woke in my hotel room.. I felt anxious and unsettled. I couldn’t put my finger on it at first. I went about my usual morning traveling routine, making coffee, packing the car, having breakfast. But still, I was all wound up inside.
I drove to the nearest gas station to fill up for the day’s traveling. But I did something odd. I left town without making a hotel reservation for the day’s end. I didn’t have a destination in mind. No stopping place. I just got in my car and drove. And drove. And drove.
The scenery was some of the most beautiful I’d seen. Oregon is stunning. I kept a lookout for bears along the rivers and deer crossing the highways. Didn’t see either. I didn’t stop for lunch. I grabbed an apple at a gas station and kept driving. As the day turned toward evening, my legs were restless from sitting for so many hours. Even my gel seat cushion was tired. I pulled into a rest stop along the highway and called directory assistance for the nearest Days Inn.
The next day was the same. Driving as if my very life depended on it. Again beautiful scenery of the ‘Big Sky Country’ in the state of Montana. But other than the highway in front of me, I hardly noticed anything. It was when I stopped overnight in Miles City Montana that it hit me. I needed to go home. I had been driving like a mad woman to get home.
The first three weeks of the trip I didn’t see one single person I knew. Not one. I wasn’t isolated or lonely at all because I met so many new people every day. But when I reached Sacramento and met Dr. Kalish, it began to change. She and I had never met in person before, but we’ve had a relationship for five years. The kicker though was seeing Adam in Portland. I know Adam. He’s from my life. A familiar face. We have history.
I realized I missed my people. I felt an urgency to go back to them. And I did. The first half of my trip had taken three weeks. The trip home took five days.
Once I returned, my new life began. A new town, new place to love, moving, adjusting. Over the past two months things have been checked off the ‘to do list.’ I’m feeling more settled. My family and friends are within reach. And new friends are being made. A new chapter of my life here is taking shape. It suits me.
But there are sacrifices. Every new change has them. One of those sacrifices has been this blog. I haven’t given it the attention it needs to thrive. And unfortunately with the changes I’ve made, I still won’t be able to blog daily as I once did. The up-side of that is that I’m working diligently on my book. It’s taking shape nicely and I’m receiving good feedback and critiquing from my writer’s group.
Like Lucy, I have adventures and schemes that always work out in the end. I just wish I could manage it in 30 minutes like she did.
My focus will be on my book for the coming months. I’ll blog here every now and again to keep you all posted on my progress.
Til next time.. Hugs to you all!